Opportunistic Belief Reconciliation During Distributed Interactions

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Successful interaction between autonomous agents is contingent on those agents making decisions consistent with the expectations of their peers --- these expectations are based on their beliefs about the current state of the environment in which interaction occurs. Contradictory beliefs lead to unintended and often unjustified outcomes. Given a shared interaction protocol to which all agents agree to adhere, it is possible to identify the constraints upon which the outcome of an interaction rests as it unfolds, and so prior to resolving those constraints, agents can compare and reconcile any relevant expectations by a process of argumentation.

In this paper, we introduce a mechanism by which agents can efficiently articulate their current beliefs in order to influence the resolution by their peers of constraints imposed on a distributed interaction and thus influence its outcome. We understand this as an opportunistic process of belief synchronisation within a restricted argument space, such that all decisions can be said to be admissible given the information that it is practical for agents to share with one another. Thus, we use the distributed knowledge dispersed amongst an agent group to make better decisions in interaction without resorting to more complex, domain-specific protocols.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems
PublisherInternational Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-0-9826571-1-9
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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