Spanish Consolider Project on Agreement Technologies

Start Date: 2007-10-01

End Date: 2012-11-30


Agreement is one of the crucial social concepts that helps human agents to cope with their social environment and is present in all human interactions. In fact, without agreement there is no cooperation and ultimately social systems cannot emerge. Agreement is necessary in our everyday life.

Until recently, the concept of agreement was a domain of study mainly for philosophers, sociologists and was only applicable only to human societies. In the last thirty years, the growth of disciplines such as social psychology, sociobiology, social neuroscience, and the development of adaptive multi-agent artificial systems (MAS), together with the spectacular emergence of the information society technologies, have changed this situation. Presently, agreement and all the processes and mechanisms implicated in reaching agreements between different kind of agents are a subject of research and analysis with very many perspectives.

Provided that all these approaches are relevant for a robust understanding and an efficient implementation of artificial social systems, the dialogue and knowledge transfer among these new disciplines appears as a must in social-oriented science and technology.

Spanish — 1min 54sec

Indeed, the scientific research in the area of agreement mechanisms for virtual societies is a recent discipline oriented to increase the reliability and performance of electronic communities by introducing in such communities these well known human social control mechanisms. Computer science has moved from the paradigm of an isolated machine to the paradigm of a network of systems and of distributed computing. Likewise, artificial intelligence is quickly moving from the paradigm of an isolated and non-situated intelligence to the paradigm of situated, social and collective intelligence.

Agent Technology is the latest paradigm of software engineering methodology. The development of autonomous, mobile, and intelligent agents brings new challenges to the field. Agent technologies and multi-agent-systems are one of the most vibrant and active research areas of computer science. At the same time commercial applications of agents are gaining attention. The construction of artificial (agent) societies leads to questions that already have been asked for human societies. Computer Scientists have adopted terms like emerging behavior, self-organization, and evolutionary theory in an intuitive manner. Multi-agent-system researchers have started to develop agents with “social” abilities and complex “social” systems. However, most of these systems lack the foundation of the social sciences.