The role of norms and electronic institutions in multi-agent systems. The HARMONIA framework The design of multi-agent systems in complex, open environments can benefit from social abstractions in order to cope with problems in coordination, cooperation and trust among agents, problems which are also present in human societies. The agent-mediated electronic institutions is a new and promising field. Work is focused in social concepts such as norms and institutions in order to provide normative frameworks to restrict or guide the behaviour of software agents. However, current approaches are either too theoretical (formal notations for norms) or too practical (agent architectures and agent platforms with norms) to be properly merged and applied. This book presents HARMONIA, a new framework for electronic organizations that defines a multi-level structure, from the most abstract level of the normative system to the final multi-agent implementation.

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