Communicating open systems

d'Inverno, Mark; Luck, Michael; Noriega, Pablo; Rodriguez-Aguilar, Juan A and Sierra, Carles. 2012. Communicating open systems. Artificial Intelligence, 186, pp. 38-94. ISSN 0004-3702 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Just as conventional institutions are organisational structures for coordinating the activities of multiple interacting individuals, electronic institutions provide a computational analogue for coordinating the activities of multiple interacting software agents. In this paper, we argue that open multi-agent systems can be effectively designed and implemented as electronic institutions, for which we provide a comprehensive computational model. More specifically, the paper provides an operational semantics for electronic institutions, specifying the essential data structures, the state representation and the key operations necessary to implement them. We specify the agent workflow structure that is the core component of such electronic institutions and particular instantiations of knowledge representation languages that support the institutional model. In so doing, we provide the first formal account of the electronic institution concept in a rigorous and unambiguous way.

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Identification Number (DOI):


Open systems; Agent communication; Formal languages; Electronic institutions

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Computing > Embodied AudioVisual Interaction Group (EAVI)


July 2012Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

18 Oct 2013 12:03

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:57

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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