Invited Talks

CLIMA IV - Computational Logic in Multi-Agent Systems

Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA - January 6-7 2004

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MASS: Multiagent Survivability and Security by V. S. Subrahmanian, University of Maryland, USA (slides in ppt)

Multiagent applications are not likely to be very useful in the real world if they are unable to ensure the security and survivability of agents in the multiagent system. In this talk, I will focus on survivability of MASs and present a set of architectures that can greatly enhance survivability of MASs. I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the architectures and discuss their impact on scalability of the MAS applications.

The talk reflects joint work with S. Kraus, C. Tas and Y. Zhang.

Programming Groups of Rational Agents by Michael Fisher, University of Liverpool, UK (sponsored by CoLogNET) (slides in pdf)

Computational power is increasing, and increasingly available, for example via the development of ubiquitous computing. Once large numbers of computational elements can communicate with each other, via wireless networks or the World-Wide Web, then new problems arise in engineering software for such systems. By representing these computational elements as agents, we can provide a simple and intutive metaphor for both individual computation and that within multi-agent systems. However, software designers need to have appropriate and semantically clear mechanisms for controlling not only how individual agents adapt and evolve, but also how agents interact and combine to form new systems. Without this control not only will the practical development of complex multi-agent systems remain difficult, but agents themselves will not be trusted for use in critical applications.

In this talk, I will outline some of our work on developing agent programming languages based upon computational logic. In particular, I will describe:

  1. the implementation of individual agents through the direction execution of a formal description of individual (rational) agent behaviour given using a combination of temporal logic and logics concerning belief and ability;
  2. the core notion of agent groups and how such groups contrast with individual agents; and
  3. the ways in which multi-agent applications might be developed, by utilising the combination of executable logic (as in 1) and group evolution (as in 2).

This talk includes work carried out over a number of years, where we have attempted to use intuitive logical aspects to provide a simple, but effective, mechanism for describing agent computation. It is our assertion that computational logic in general (and executable temporal logics in particular) can provide an appropriate tool for studying not only verifiable agent descriptions, but also novel concepts that can form the basis for the future programming of agent-based systems.

The work presented in this talk can be traced back to previous work produced with a number of co-authors on executable temporal logics [1,2], programming rational agents [3,4] and
programming multi-agent computation [5,6,7].


  1. Fisher, M. "Representing and Executing Agent-Based Systems". In Intelligent Agents, Springer-Verlag, 1995.
  2. Barringer, H., Fisher, M., Gabbay, D., Owens, R., and Reynolds, M. "The Imperative Future: Principles of Executable Temporal Logics" Research Studies Press, 1996.
  3. Fisher, M. "Implementing BDI-like Systems by Direct Execution". In Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), Morgan-Kaufmann, 1997.
  4. Fisher, M., and Ghidini, C. "Programming Resource-Bounded Deliberative Agents". In Proceedings of the Sixteenth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI). Morgan-Kauffman, 1999.
  5. Fisher, M., and Kakoudakis, T. "Flexible Agent Grouping in Executable Temporal Logic". In Proceedings of the Twelfth International Symposium on Languages for Intensional Programming (ISLIP). World Scientific Press, March 2000.
  6. Fisher, M. and Ghidini, C. "The ABC of Rational Agent Modelling". In Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS). Bologna, Italy. July 2002.
  7. M. Fisher, C. Ghidini, and B. Hirsch. "Organising Logic-Based Agents". In Proceedings of the Second Goddard Workshop on Formal Approaches to Agent-Based Systems (FAABS). Volume 2699 of LNAI, Springer-Verlag, 2003.

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