Agent Capabilities: Extending BDI Theory

Lin Padgham, RMIT University; Patrick Lambrix, Linköpings Universitet

This paper presents a formalisation of capabilities within the framework of beliefs, goals and intentions (BDI) and indicates how capabilities can affect agent reasoning about its intentions. We define a style of agent commitment which we refer to as a self-aware agent which allows an agent to modify its goals and intentions as its capabilities change. We also indicate which aspects of the specification of a BDI interpreter are affected by the introduction of capabilities and give some indications of additional reasoning which could be incorporated into an agent system on the basis of both the theoretical analysis and the existing implementation. The introduction of capabilities in the BDI framework has a number of advantages such as a better mapping of theory to intuition, the elimination of a mismatch between theory and actual systems, and an indication of issues and areas for further development of implemented reasoning in agent systems.

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