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Normative Multi-Agent Systems: NorMAS 2013
Multi-Agent Systems (MAS) is viewed as being composed of a set of autonomous and heterogeneous components, called agents, interacting with each other in an environment. Open MAS are special kinds of multi-agent systems where individual agents may join and leave the system at run-time. Normative MAS (NorMAS) research combines models for open MAS with models for normative systems dealing, for example, with different types of norms such as constitutive norms, regulative norms, procedural norms, and coordination norms. Indeed, this is one of the most promising answers to a major challenge raised by open distributed software systems: how to make MAS efficient through social models. In this regard, the employment of normative models in MAS has the purpose of controlling and coordinating the behaviours of individual autonomous agents and support, for instance, various forms of collaborations.
The aim of this workshop was to promote the discussion and exchange of ideas concerning normative MAS. In particular, our aim was to bring together researchers and practitioners from different areas related to MAS, including computer science, artificial intelligence, logic, and law, sociology, psychology, moral philosophy, and economy to discuss their theories, models, and tools that can be utilized in the development of normative multi-agent systems. Finally, we aimed at encouraging collaborations between research groups within and outside the Netherlands.
The workshop was a great success. We had about 50 registrations with an average of 40 participants each day. We had lively and active discussions and collaborations. We divided each day into morning and afternoon sessions. For the morning sessions, we had 6 keynote presentations (1 hour) and 21 short presentations (15 minutes) on various aspects on normative multi-agent systems. For the afternoon sessions we formed five discussion groups with the themes ‘Norms and Games’, ‘Norms and Cognition’, ‘Norms and Organisation’, ‘Norm Types, and ‘Norms and Logic’. These working groups discussed these themes in separate rooms during the first afternoon sessions. The second afternoon sessions were plenary sessions in which the summary of discussions from various groups were presented and discussed. The outcome of the workshop is summarized and available from the webpage of the workshop. We will have a special issue of the journal of AI & Law devoted to the themes of this workshop. The journal has already accepted our request to have a special issue and we will send out the call for papers very soon, probably before the end of this year. We will encourage participants of the workshop to collaborate and submit their presented works to this special issue.
We would like to thank the Lorentz Centre for giving us the opportunity to organise this workshop. The participants were very enthusiastic and positive about the Lorentz Centre and how the workshop was organised. They found the workshop very interesting and productive.
Mehdi Dastani, Utrecht University
Antonino Rotolo, University of Bologna