As the fourth volume, "Normative Multi-Agent Systems" was published in our series Dagstuhl Follow-Ups. The peer-reviewed collection was edited by Giulia Andrighetto, Guido Governatori, Pablo Noriega, and Leendert W. N. van der Torre. The book is based on Dagstuhl Seminar 12111.
About the book
As research in Multi-Agent Systems (MAS) has been expanding its focus from from the individual, cognitive focussed, agent models to models of socially situated agents, MAS researchers have been showing rising interest in social theories. Particular attention has been given to normative concepts because it is expected that norms could play as key a role in articulating agent interactions as the one norms play in human social intelligence. Thus, the label of "normative multi-agent system" has been attached to systems where individual and collective behaviour is affected by norms. This book is not a state of the art of normative multi-agent systems, nor a systematic description of the key concepts, or a compendium of the most salient challenges. However, the reader will find in its chapters something of each of these three contents because "Normative Multi-Agent Systems" is an effort to clarify the ideas behind the label and to put in perspective the work that is being done in this area.
"Normative Multi-Agent Systems" is the outcome of the 2012 Schloss Dagstuhl Seminar on Normative Multi-Agent Systems (www.dagstuhl.de/12111), the third in a series of Schloss Dagstuhl seminars on Normative Multi-Agent Systems. Thefirst seminar (07122 - www.dagstuhl.de/07122) in 2007, had the aim of identifying common definitions, ontologies, research problems and applications in the field. The second seminar (09121 - www.dagstuhl.de/09121), in 2009, had instead the aim of discussing these fundamental concepts in relation to the use of norms as a regulatory mechanism in human and artificial systems. Building on the work of these two workshops, the 2012 seminar was convened to produce a forward-looking account of current research in the area. Some forty specialists were invited to prepare short position papers along seven research topics. Prior to the seminar, these papers went under a review process, and discussed among authors contributing to the same topic. After this process, authors were encouraged to prepare new position papers that became the basis for short presentations. These presentations and the preceding workgave substance to discussion groups that were formed during the workshop around particular norm related topics. These groups reported their findings in plenary sessions, provoking a lively debate, and eventually drafted the seven chapters that make this book.