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Birkhäuser - Birkhäuser Computer Science | The Role of Norms and Electronic Institutions in Multi-Agent Systems - The HarmonIA Framework

The Role of Norms and Electronic Institutions in Multi-Agent Systems

The HarmonIA Framework

Vazquez-Salceda, Javier

2004, XVIII, 272 p.

A product of Birkhäuser Basel
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  • About this book

"It is not the consciousness of men that defines their existence, but, on the contrary, their social existence determines their consciousness." Karl Marx In recent years, several researchers have argued that the design of multi-agent sys­ tems (MAS) in complex, open environments can benefit from social abstractions in order to cope with problems in coordination, cooperation and trust among agents, problems which are also present in human societies. The agent-mediated electronic institutions (e-institutions for short) is a new and promising field which focuses in the concepts of norms and institutions in order to pro­ vide normative frameworks to restrict or guide the behaviour of (software) agents. The main idea is that the interactions among a group of (software) agents are ruled by a set of explicit norms expressed in a computational language representation that agents can interpret. Such norms should not be considered as a negative constraining factor but as an aid that guides the agents' choices and reduces the complexity ofthe environment making the behaviour of other agents more predictable.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Internet - Multi-agent system - Racter - agents - information privacy - information system - organization - service-oriented computing - software agent

Related subjects » Birkhäuser Computer Science

Table of contents 

I Applying Electronic Institutions and Norms to Complex Domains.- 1 Introduction.- 1.1 Autonomy.- 1.2 Coordination and Coordination Theories.- 1.2.1 Social Structures.- 1.2.2 Commitments and Conventions.- 1.3 Institutions.- 1.3.1 Human Institutions.- 1.3.2 Types of Institutions.- 1.3.3 Electronic Institutions.- 1.4 Summary.- 2 CARREL: an Agent-Mediated System for Organ and Tissue Allocation.- 2.1 Introduction.- 2.2 Medical Informatics and Agents.- 2.2.1 Patient-Oriented Information Management.- 2.2.2 Cooperative Management of Patients.- 2.2.3 Autonomous Monitoring and Diagnosis of Patients.- 2.2.4 Remote Health Care Services.- 2.2.5 Agents and the Transplant Domain.- 2.3 The Organ and Tissue Allocation Problem.- 2.3.1 Coordination Structure: the Spanish Model.- 2.3.2 The Organ and Tissue Allocation Process.- 2.4 The CARREL System.- 2.4.1 Analysis of the System.- 2.4.2 Important Requirements.- 2.5 Formalizing the CARREL System.- 2.5.1 The Performative Structure.- 2.5.2 Describing the Scene Protocols.- 2.5.3 Normative Rules.- 2.5.4 The Textual Specification.- 2.5.5 The Agent Architecture.- 2.5.6 A Network of CARREL Institutions.- 2.6 Discussion.- 3 Norms, Agents and Electronic Institutions.- 3.1 What is a Norm?.- 3.1.1 The View of Norms in Social Theory.- 3.1.2 The View of Norms in Legal Theory.- 3.1.3 The View of Norms in Computer Science.- 3.2 Social Interaction from the Individual’s Point of View.- 3.2.1 Formalizing Norms.- 3.2.2 Norm Autonomous Agents.- 3.2.3 Discussion about Agent-Centric Views.- 3.3 Social Interaction from the Society’s Point of View.- 3.3.1 Definition and Formalization of Social Systems.- 3.3.2 Discussion about Social-Centric Views.- 3.4 Building Electronic Institutions. Multi-Agent Methodologies and Frameworks.- 3.4.1 Agent Methodologies without Normative Aspects.- 3.4.2 Agent Methodologies with Normative Aspects.- 3.4.3 Electronic Institutions vs. Electronic Organizations.- 3.5 Summary.- II HARmoNIA: a New Approach to Model Electronic Institutions.- 4 A Multi-Layered Normative Framework for Agents.- 4.1 Intuitive Description of the Impact of Norms in Agents.- 4.1.1 Knowledge and Beliefs.- 4.1.2 Goals.- 4.1.3 Beliefs and Knowledge about Norms and Roles.- 4.2 Conceptualization of Norms in Terms of Possible Worlds.- 4.2.1 Norms as Legally Accessible Worlds.- 4.2.2 Context.- 4.2.3 Abstract and Concrete Norms.- 4.2.4 Rules.- 4.2.5 Roles.- 4.3 Norms and the BDI Cycle.- 4.4 Enforcing and Following Norms. Police Agents.- 4.5 Summary.- 5 A Multi-Layered Framework for Organizations.- 5.1 Creating E-Organizations.- 5.1.1 Using Norms inside E-Organizations.- 5.1.2 Four Levels of Abstraction.- 5.2 The Abstract Level: Statutes, Objectives, Values and Norms.- 5.2.1 From Values to Norms.- 5.2.2 Representing Norms.- 5.3 The Concrete Level: from Abstract Norms to Concrete Norms.- 5.3.1 Sources of Abstraction.- 5.3.2 Limitations of Norms.- 5.4 The Rule Level: Translating Norms into Rules.- 5.5 The Procedure Level.- 5.6 Policies.- 5.7 Role Hierarchy.- 5.8 Ontologies.- 5.9 Influence of the E-Organization’s Context. Regulations.- 5.10 Influence of the Background Knowledge.- 5.11 Creating Electronic Institutions.- 5.12 Summary.- 6 Applying HARMONÍA to the Organ and Tissue Allocation Problem.- 6.1 The Abstract Level in CARREL.- 6.1.1 Defining ONT Statutes.- 6.1.2 Defining the Abstract Norms.- 6.1.3 Summary: the Abstract Level in CARREL.- 6.2 Role Hierarchy and Goal Distribution.- 6.3 The Concrete Level in CARREL.- 6.3.1 The Organ and Tissue Allocation Policies.- 6.3.2 The Security Policy.- 6.3.3 Summary: the Concrete Level in CARREL.- 6.4 The Rule Level in CARREL.- 6.4.1 The Organ and Tissue Allocation Policies.- 6.4.2 The Security Policy.- 6.4.3 Violations and Sanctions.- 6.4.4 Summary: the Rule Level in CARREL.- 6.5 The Procedure Level in CARREL.- 6.5.1 Implementation Decisions.- 6.5.2 Refining the Role Hierarchy.- 6.5.3 Refining the Violations and Sanctions.- 6.5.4 The Procedure Level in ISLANDER.- 6.6 Summary.- 7 Conclusions.- 7.1 Our Proposal of a New Framework.- 7.2 Original Contributions.- 7.2.1 Distinction between Normative and Operational.- 7.2.2 Normative Systems and Contexts.- 7.2.3 New Terminology.- 7.2.4 Connection between Formal Specification and Agent Implemen-tation.- 7.2.5 Norm Enforcement as Detecting Illegal Worlds.- 7.3 Ongoing Work.- 7.3.1 Definition of a Modular Architecture for E-Organizations.- 7.3.2 Creation of Tools for E-Organizations.- 7.3.3 Testing the Framework in New Domains.- 7.4 Suggestions for Further Research.- III Appendix and Bibliography.- A Medical Data Protection and the Internet.- A.1 Medicine, Information Technology and Privacy.- A.2 Advantages of Electronic Formats for Medical Data.- A.3 Requirements to be Fulfilled.- A.3.1 Requirements from the Medical Community.- A.3.2 Law-Enforced Requirements.- A.4 Privacy and Security of Electronic Medical Data.- A.5 Security Measures for Medical Information Systems.- A.6 Desirable Characteristics of a Medical Information System.- A.7 The New Users of Medical Data.- A.8 Summary.- B The UCTx System.- B.1 Creating a Multi-Agent System for a Hospital’s Transplant Unit.- B.2 An Example: The Cornea Transplantation.- B.3 Summary.- List of Acronyms.- Authors Index.

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