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A Logical Framework for Ethical Behaviour between Infohabitants in the Information Trading Economy of the Universal Information Ecosystem

A Logical Framework for Ethical Behaviour between Infohabitants in the Information Trading Economy of the Universal Information Ecosystem

Objective

We use empirical psychological studies of trust to inform the development of a logical framework for characterising the ethical (normative) behaviour of infohabitants, which communicate and trade in a situated electronic society. The framework is used to specify social relations and commitments underpinning communicative acts performed in the context of different cultures and commercial transactions. This specification is a formal model of ethical (norm-governed) behaviour, and so provides the basis for regulating the activities of infohabitants in a particular sub-community of the UIE. The dynamic effect of society formation on scalability issues is addressed by examining how size affects trust, regulation, and other social relations. We implement a 'society simulator' to animate these formal models and experiment with social dynamics, and determine the extent to which identified social commitments can be transformed into binding legal contracts.

OBJECTIVES
1) To develop a logical framework to characterise formal models of norm-governed ("ethical") behaviour and social relations, as revealed by empirical psychological studies, with particular emphasis on trust in respect of individual/organisation relations and different cultural and commercial contexts;
2) To use the framework to specify the social commitments in communication, with special reference to patterns of interaction involved in commercial transactions, and examine the effects of scale on the dynamics of social relations and society formation;
3) To implement a society simulator to experiment with these formal models of social relations, and to investigate the extent to which social commitments in the UIE might be transformed into contracts governed by some future regulatory body.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
The purpose of the project is to establish a logical framework for characterising ethical (normative) behaviour of infohabitants, in order to regulate their activities as they interact and trade information. The project is divided into three phases, Foundations, Specifications, and Application. Each phase is planned to last for one year, and comprises two Workpackages that constitute the major focus of project activities for that year. Work on the foundations feeds into development of the specifications, which in turn motivates the application of the results. Therefore the phases are structured to follow the project's logical life cycle. However, the investigations in each phase continue concurrently: the work contained in each Workpackage is then either a foreground or background activity depending on the phase of the project. Work on foreground activities of each phase will occupy the major part of the project effort, but this structure will also enable an iterative approach and allow experimental work to feedback to theory. In the first phase of the project, we undertake empirical psychological studies of social relations such as trust, authority, reputation, across a variety of cultural and commercial contexts. We then seek to develop a logical framework for characterising norm-governed (i.e. "ethical") behaviour of infohabitants in terms of these social relations. In the second phase of the project we use the framework in specifying trust relations and social combatants in the semantics of communicative acts. The effects of scale will also be addressed by examining how size affects society formation and changes in social relations over time. In the third phase, the research results are applied by implementing an experimental platform to test, evaluate and validate the formal models. We also seek to determine how these formal models of social commitments in the electronic society can be transformed into contracts.

Coordinator

IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE

Address

South Kensington Campus
London

United Kingdom

Administrative Contact

Jeremy PITT

Participants (7)

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ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - UNIVERSITA DI BOLOGNA

Italy

BLEKINGE TEKNISKA HOEGSKOLA

Sweden

CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE

Italy

FUJITSU LABORATORIES OF AMERICA, INCORPORATED

United States

INSTYTUT PODSTAW INFORMATYKI POLSKIEJ AKADEMII NAUK (IPI PAN)

Poland

KING'S COLLEGE LONDON

United Kingdom

UNIVERSITETET I OSLO

Norway

Project information

Grant agreement ID: IST-1999-10298

  • Start date

    1 February 2000

  • End date

    31 July 2003

Funded under:

FP5-IST

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 400 469

  • EU contribution

    € 1 984 000

Coordinated by:

IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE

United Kingdom