Group Norms for Multi-Agent Organisations

Huib Aldewereld, Virginia Dignum, Wamberto W. Vasconcelos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Normative multi-agent systems offer the ability to integrate social and individual factors to provide increased levels of fidelity with respect to modelling social phenomena, such as cooperation, coordination, group
decision making, and organization, in both human and artificial agent systems. An important open research issue refers to group norms, i.e. norms that govern groups of agents. Depending on the interpretation, group norms may be intended to affect the group as a whole, each member of a group, or some members of the group. Moreover, upholding group norms may require coordination among the members of the group. We have identified three sets of agents affected by group norms, namely, i) the addressees of the norm, ii) those
that will act on it, and iii) those that are responsible for ensuring norm compliance. We present a formalism to represent these, connecting it to a minimalist agent organisation model. We use our formalism to develop
a reasoning mechanism which enables agents to identify their position with respect to a group norm, so as to further support agent autonomy and coordination when deciding on possible courses of action.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems
Issue number2
Early online dateMay 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


  • Algorithms
  • Theory
  • Norms
  • norm reasoning
  • organisation


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