Coordinating Agents by Role Based Social Constraints and Conversation Plans

Mihai Barbuceanu

We explore the view that coordinated behavior is explained by the social constraints that agents in organizations are subject to. In this framework, agents adopt those goals that are requested by their obligations, knowing that not fulfilling obligations induces a price to pay or a loss of utility. Based on this idea we build a coordination system where we represent the organization, the roles played by agents, the obligations imposed among roles, the goals and the plans that agents may adopt. Once a goal adopted, a special brand of plans, called conversation plans, are available to the agents for effectively carrying out coordinated action, Conversation plans explicitly represent interactions by message exchange and their actions are dynamically reordered using the theory of Markov Decision Processes to ensure the optimization of various criteria. The framework is applied to model supply chains of distributed enterprises.

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