A multiagent network for peer norm enforcement
Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:Autonomous Agents and Multi Agent Systems, Volume 21, p.397-424 (2010)
Keywords:Multiagent systems; norms; enforcement; social network; ostracism
In a multiagent system where norms are used to regulate the actions agents ought to execute, some agents may decide not to abide by the norms if this can benefit them. Norm enforcement mechanisms are designed to counteract these benefits and thus the motives for not abiding by the norms. In this work we propose a distributed mechanism through which agents in the multiagent system that do not abide by the norms can be ostracised by their peers. An ostracised agent cannot interact anymore and looses all benefits from future interactions. We describe a model for multiagent systems structured as networks of agents, and a behavioural model for the agents in such systems. Furthermore, we provide analytical results which show that there exists an upper bound to the number of potential norm violations when all the agents exhibit certain behaviours. We also provide experimental results showing that both stricter enforcement behaviours and larger percentage of agents exhibiting these behaviours reduce the number of norm violations, and that the network topology influences the number of norm violations. These experiments have been executed under varying scenarios with different values for the number of agents, percentage of enforcers, percentage of violators, network topology, and agent behaviours. Finally, we give examples of applications where the enforcement techniques we provide could be used.