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Journal of Logic and Computation, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp. 583-602: Abstract.

The logic of conflicts between decision making agents

L Ekenberg

Dept. of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University and the Royal Institute of Technology, Electrum 230, SE-164 46 Kista, Sweden, Dept. of Information Technology, Mid Sweden University, SE-851 70, Sundsvall, Sweden, E-mail: lovek@dsv.su.se

We present a formal model for the analysis of conflicts in sets of autonomous agents restricted in the sense that they can be described in a (first-order) language and by a transaction mechanism. In this model, we allow for enrichment of agent systems with correspondence assertions, expressing the relationship between different entities in the formal specifications of the agents. Thereafter the specifications are analysed with respect to conflicts. If two specifications are free of conflicts, the formulae of one specification together with the set of correspondence assertions do not restrict the models of the other specification, i.e. the agent system does not restrict the individual agents. The approach takes into account static as well as dynamic aspects of this kind of interaction. Classifications of complexity of determining whether two specifications are free of conflicts are also presented. Furthermore, if the agents are allowed to act in accordance with the result of executions of a decision module, a situation may occur where, for example, subsets of their possible goal sets are consistent, but in actual fact the individual agents may nevertheless always terminate in states that are in conflict. Therefore, the model is also enriched by processes for analysing when specifications are compatible with respect to states for which it is reasonable to assume that they eventually will be reached.

Keywords: multi-agent system, conflict detection, conceptual schema, theorem proving

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