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Multiagent commitment alignment

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Abstract

Commitments provide a basis for understanding interactions in multiagent systems. Successful interoperation relies upon the interacting parties being aligned with respect to their commitments. However, alignment is nontrivial in a distributed system where agents communicate asynchronously and make different observations. We propose a formalization for commitments that ensures alignment despite asynchrony. This formalization consists of three elements: (1) a semantics of commitment operations; (2) messaging patterns that implement the commitment operations; and (3) weak constraints on agents' behaviors to ensure the propagation of vital information. We prove that our formalization ensures alignment. We illustrate the generality of our formalization with several real-life scenarios.