"In multi-agent systems, where human and software entities freely interact, the goals of the
individual components are often different and at times utterly incompatible, hindering the possibility of reaching desirable and efficient outcomes. In such situations there is a strong need of an explicit regulation of individual behaviour, whose introduction has traditionally followed two alternative approaches, well-known in the economics literature: the 'spontaneous order' approach, which studies how norms result from endogenous agreements among rational individuals, and the 'mechanism design' approach, which studies how norms are exogenously designed in
order to reach desirable properties. Before endorsing either approach, however, we need to confront ourselves with the unique structural features of each interaction: some may not be suitable for an endogenous agreement (e.g. absence of communication channels, too high computational requirements etc.) while others do not allow for an exogenous constraint (e.g. impossibility of verifying violations, impossibility of restraining behaviour etc.). The project ""Norms
in Action: Designing and Comparing Regulatory Mechanisms for Multi-Agent Systems"" (NINA) will study norm introduction in multi-agent systems within a unified formal framework and will deliver an automatic procedure to suggest the policy that suits best each interaction. The project will be grounded in Dr. Turrini’s PhD work, extending and generalizing his models of dependence relations in such systems, tailored to the expertise of the Department of Computing, Imperial College London, making use of their modelling and verification techniques, and highly interdisciplinary, analyzing game-theoretical models with computer science tools."
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