A Model of Normative Power

Nir Oren, Michael Luck, Simon Miles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution

12 Citations (Scopus)


A power describes the ability of an agent to act in some way. While this notion of power is critical in the context of organisational dynamics, and has been studied by others in this light, it must be constrained so as to be useful in any practical application. In particular, we are concerned with how power may be used by agents to govern the imposition and management of norms, and how agents may dynamically assign norms to other agents within a multi-agent system. We approach the problem by defining a syntax and semantics for powers governing the creation, deletion, or modification of norms within a system, which we refer to as normative powers. We then extend this basic model to accommodate more general powers that can modify other powers within the system, and describe how agents playing certain roles are able to apply powers, changing the system's norms, and also the powers themselves. We examine how the powers found within a system may change as the status of norms change, and show how standard norm modification operations --- such as the derogation, annulment and modification of norms --- may be represented within our system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems
EditorsMichael Luck, Sandip Sen
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
PublisherACM Press
ISBN (Print)978-0982657119
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event9th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2010) - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 10 May 201014 May 2010


Conference9th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2010)


  • multiagent systems
  • norms
  • power
  • theory
  • distributed artificial intelligence


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