Autonomous Agents Adopting Organizational Rules

Autonomous Agents Adopting Organizational Rules

Bob van der Vecht (Utrecht University and TNO Defense - Security and Safety, The Netherlands), Frank Dignum (Utrecht University, The Netherlands) and John-Jules Ch. Meyer (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-256-5.ch013
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This chapter discusses how autonomous agents can adopt organizational rules into their reasoning process. Agents in an organization need to coordinate their actions in order to reach the organizational goals. Organizational models specify the desired behaviour in terms of roles, relations, norms, and interactions. We have developed a method to translate norms into event-processing rules of the agents. We propose a modular reasoning model that includes the organizational rules explicitly. Since the agents are autonomous, they will have their own reasoning rules next to the organizational rules. The modular approach allows for meta-reasoning about these rules. We show that this stimulates bottom-up dynamics in the organization.
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Background: Agents And Organizations

In our research we use human organizations as inspiration. From this point of view, we consider an organization as a description of roles, relations and interactions to achieve certain coordination. We assume that the agents fulfilling organizational roles are autonomous entities; they have control over their internal state and their behaviour (Jennings, 2000). This implies that the organizational model specifies behavioural guidelines for the agents to assure desired features such as task coordination or information flow. The agents should follow those guidelines, but they are not forced to do so by definition. Researchers in multi-agent systems have introduced the organizational metaphor to achieve coordination between autonomous agents. Organizational models specify coordination mechanisms between agents in abstract concepts, such as roles, relations and norms.

In this section we discuss related work on organizational models. We describe how different approaches allow agents to take up organizational tasks and we describe the consequences for the agents’ autonomy.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Organizational Model: An organizational model describes the objectives and the structure of an organization in terms of roles, norms, relations between roles and interactions between roles. The description does not include descriptions of participants that with fulfil the roles.

Autonomy: Autonomy in the context of agents means that the agent has control over its internal state and over its behaviour. The first implies that the agent controls how external events influence its internal state. The second implies that the agent has a local decision-making process to decide on actions.

Agent: An agent is autonomous entity that actively pursues its goals and is able to interact with others.

Adjustable Autonomy: Adjustable autonomy means that an agent varies the degree of autonomy of its decision-making process. The degree of autonomy depends on how much the decision-making process is influenced by others. Agents can show adjustable autonomy by dynamically dealing with external influences.

Organizational Rules: Organizational rules specify the desired behaviour of the actors in the organization. They are part of the organizational model.

Reasoning Rules: Reasoning rules specify steps in the decision-making process of the agent. There can be several types of reasoning rules with different purposes, for example, goal planning, event processing, or plan revision.

Meta-Reasoning: Meta-reasoning is reasoning about the reasoning process itself. In this chapter, prioritization of reasoning rules is used as an example of meta-reasoning.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Liz Sonenberg
Virginia Dignum
Virginia Dignum
Chapter 1
Virgina Dignum
Agent Organization can be understood from two perspectives: organization as a process and organization as an entity. That is, organization is... Sample PDF
The Role of Organization in Agent Systems
Chapter 2
Luciano R. Coutinho, Jaime S. Sichman, Olivier Boissier
In this chapter, we discuss the concepts of agent organization, organizational model, and review some existing organizational models. Before the... Sample PDF
Modelling Dimensions for Agent Organizations
Chapter 3
Jacques Ferber, Tiberiu Stratulat, John Tranier
In this chapter, we stress the importance of thinking a MAS in all its aspects (agents, environment, interactions, organizations, and institutions)... Sample PDF
Towards an Integral Approach of Organizations in Multi-Agent Systems
Chapter 4
Scott A. DeLoach
This chapter introduces a suite of technologies for building complex, adaptive systems. It is based in the multi-agent systems paradigm and uses the... Sample PDF
OMACS: A Framework for Adaptive, Complex Systems
Chapter 5
Christopher Cheong, Michael Winikoff
Although intelligent agents individually exhibit a number of characteristics, including social ability, flexibility, and robustness, which make them... Sample PDF
Hermes: Designing Flexible and Robust Agent Interactions
Chapter 6
Viara Popova, Alexei Sharpanskykh
This chapter introduces a formal framework for modeling and analysis of organizations. It allows representing and reasoning about all important... Sample PDF
A Formal Framework for Organization Modeling and Analysis
Chapter 7
Maksim Tsvetovat
Agent-based approaches provide an invaluable tool for building decentralized, distributed architectures and tying together sets of disparate... Sample PDF
Describing Agent Societies: A Declarative Semantics
Chapter 8
Davide Grossi, Frank Dignum
In this chapter we investigate how organizations can be represented as graphs endowed with formal semantics. We distinguish different dimensions of... Sample PDF
Structural Aspects of Organizations
Chapter 9
Virgina Dignum, Frank Dignum
Organization concepts and models are increasingly being adopted for the design and specification of multi-agent systems. Agent organizations can be... Sample PDF
A Logic for Agent Organizations
Chapter 10
Cristiano Castelfranchi
This chapter presents organizations as a macro-micro notion and device; they presuppose autonomous proactive entities (agents) playing the... Sample PDF
Grounding Organizations in the Minds of the Agents
Chapter 11
Paolo Torroni, Pinar Yolum, Munindar P. Singh, Marco Alberti, Federico Chesani, Marco Gavanelli, Evelina Lamma, Paola Mello
Organizational models often rely on two assumptions: openness and heterogeneity. This is, for instance, the case with organizations consisting of... Sample PDF
Modelling Interactions via Commitments and Expectations
Chapter 12
Gita Sukthankar, Katia Sycara, Joseph A. Giampapa, Christopher Burnett
This chapter discusses the problem of agent aiding of ad-hoc, decentralized human teams so as to improve team performance on time-stressed group... Sample PDF
Communications for Agent-Based Human Team Support
Chapter 13
Bob van der Vecht, Frank Dignum, John-Jules Ch. Meyer
This chapter discusses how autonomous agents can adopt organizational rules into their reasoning process. Agents in an organization need to... Sample PDF
Autonomous Agents Adopting Organizational Rules
Chapter 14
Nicoletta Fornara, Marco Colombetti
The specification of open interaction systems is widely recognized to be a crucial issue, which involves the problem of finding a standard way of... Sample PDF
Specifying Artificial Institutions in the Event Calculus
Chapter 15
Francesco Viganò, Marco Colombetti
Institutions have been proposed to explicitly represent norms in open multi-agent systems, where agents may not follow them and which therefore... Sample PDF
Verifying Organizations Regulated by Institutions
Chapter 16
Mehdi Dastani, Nick A.M. Tinnemeier, John-Jules Ch. Meyer
Multi-agent systems are viewed as consisting of individual agents whose behaviors are regulated by an organizational artifact. This chapter presents... Sample PDF
A Programming Language for Normative Multi-Agent Systems
Chapter 17
Antônio Carlos da Rocha Costa, Graçaliz Pereira Dimuro
This chapter presents the Population-Organization model, a formal tool for studying the organization of open multi-agent systems and its functional... Sample PDF
A Minimal Dynamical MAS Organization Model
Chapter 18
Shaheen Fatima, Michael Wooldridge
This chapter presents an adaptive organizational policy for multi-agent systems called TRACE. TRACE allows a collection of multi-agent organizations... Sample PDF
A Framework for Dynamic Agent Organizations
Chapter 19
Alexander Artikis, Dimosthenis Kaponis, Jeremy Pitt
We have been developing a framework for executable specification of norm-governed multi-agent systems. In this framework, specification is a... Sample PDF
Dynamic Specifications for Norm-Governed Systems
Chapter 20
Marco Lamieri, Diana Mangalagiu
In this chapter we present a model of organization aimed to understand the effect of formal and informal structures on the organization’s... Sample PDF
Interactions Between Formal and Informal Organizational Networks
Chapter 21
Steven Okamoto, Katia Sycara, Paul Scerri
Intelligent software personal assistants are an active research area with the potential to revolutionize the way that human organizations operate... Sample PDF
Personal Assistants for Human Organizations
Chapter 22
Sachin Kamboj, Keith S. Decker
This chapter presents an approach to organizational-self design (OSD), a method of designing organizations at run-time in which the agents are... Sample PDF
Organizational Self-Design in Worth-Oriented Domains
Chapter 23
Olivier Bonnet-Torrès, Catherine Tessier
This chapter focuses on a Petri Net-based model for team organization and monitoring. The applications considered are missions performed by several... Sample PDF
A Formal Petri Net Based Model for Team Monitoring
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