Specifying and Enforcing Norms in Artificial Institutions

Authors Nicoletta Fornara, Marco Colombetti

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Nicoletta Fornara
Marco Colombetti

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Nicoletta Fornara and Marco Colombetti. Specifying and Enforcing Norms in Artificial Institutions. In Normative Multi-agent Systems. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 7122, pp. 1-16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2007)


In this paper we investigate two important and related aspects of the formalization of open interaction systems: how to specify norms, and how to enforce them by means of sanctions. The problem of specifying the sanctions associated with the violation of norms is crucial in an open system because, given that the compliance of autonomous agents to obligations and prohibitions cannot be taken for granted, norm enforcement is necessary to constrain the possible evolutions of the system, thus obtaining a degree of predictability that makes it rational for agents to interact with the system. In our model, norms are specified declaratively. When certain events take place, norms become active and generate pending commitments for the agents playing certain roles. Norms also specify the sanctions associated with their violation. In the paper, we analyze the concept of sanction in detail and propose a mechanism through which sanctions can be applied.
  • Norms
  • Sanctions
  • Commitments
  • Artificial Institutions,


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