The behaviour of autonomous agents may deviate from that deemed to be for the good of the societal systems of which they are a part. Norms have therefore been proposed as a means to regulate agent behaviours in open and dynamic systems, where these norms specify the obliged, permitted and prohibited behaviours of agents. Regulation can effectively be achieved through use of enforcement mechanisms that result in a net loss of utility for an agent in cases where the agent’s behaviour fails to comply with the norms. Recognition of compliance is thus crucial for achieving regulation. In this paper, we propose a general framework for observation of agents’ behaviour, and recognition of this behaviour as constituting, or counting as, compliance or violation. The framework deploys monitors that receive inputs from trusted observers, and processes these inputs together with transition network representations of individual norms. In this way, monitors determine the fulfillment or violation status of norms. The paper also describes a proof of concept implementation of the framework, and its deployment in electronic contracting environments.
- multiagent systems