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Generalized commitment alignment

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Publication date05/2015
Host publicationProceedings of the 14th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2015)
EditorsRafael H. Bordini, Edith Elkind, Gerhard Weiss, Pinar Yolum
Number of pages9
Original languageEnglish


The interoperability of interacting components means that their expectations of each other remain in agreement. A commitment captures what one agent (its creditor) may expect from another agent (its debtor). Chopra and Singh (C&S) motivate commitment alignment as a meaning-based form of interoperation and show how to ensure alignment among agents despite asynchrony. Although C&S’s approach demonstrates the key strengths of relying on commitment semantics, it suffers from key shortcomings, which limit its applicability in practice. One, C&S do not model commitments properly, causing unacceptable interference between commitments in different transactions. Two, they require that the communication infrastructure guarantee first-in first-out (FIFO) delivery of messages for every agent-agent channel. Three, C&S guarantee alignment only in quiescent states (where no messages are in transit); however, such states may never obtain in enactments of real systems. Our approach retains and enhances C&S’s key strengths and avoids their shortcomings by providing a declarative semantics-based generalized treatment of alignment. Specifically, we (1) motivate a declarative notion of alignment relevant system states termed completeness; (2) prove that it coincides with alignment; and (3) provide the computations by which a system of agents provably progresses toward alignment assuming eventual delivery of messages.