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A Norm Emergence Framework for Normative MAS – Position Paper

by   Andreasa Morris-Martin, et al.

Norm emergence is typically studied in the context of multiagent systems (MAS) where norms are implicit, and participating agents use simplistic decision-making mechanisms. These implicit norms are usually unconsciously shared and adopted through agent interaction. A norm is deemed to have emerged when a threshold or predetermined percentage of agents follow the "norm". Conversely, in normative MAS, norms are typically explicit and agents deliberately share norms through communication or are informed about norms by an authority, following which an agent decides whether to adopt the norm or not. The decision to adopt a norm by the agent can happen immediately after recognition or when an applicable situation arises. In this paper, we make the case that, similarly, a norm has emerged in a normative MAS when a percentage of agents adopt the norm. Furthermore, we posit that agents themselves can and should be involved in norm synthesis, and hence influence the norms governing the MAS, in line with Ostrom's eight principles. Consequently, we put forward a framework for the emergence of norms within a normative MAS, that allows participating agents to propose/request changes to the normative system, while special-purpose synthesizer agents formulate new norms or revisions in response to these requests. Synthesizers must collectively agree that the new norm or norm revision should proceed, and then finally be approved by an "Oracle". The normative system is then modified to incorporate the norm.


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