Agreement Technologies (AT) refer to computer systems in which autonomous software agents negotiate with one another, typically on behalf of humans, in order to come to mutually acceptable agreements. An entity may choose whether to fulfil an agreement or not, and it should fulfil it when there is an obligation to do so derived from the standing agreements. Autonomy, interaction, mobility and openness are relevant characteristics from a theoretical and practical perspective. Semantic alignment, negotiation, argumentation, virtual organisations, learning, real time, and several other technologies are part of a sandbox to define, specify and verify such systems. Security on execution draws upon trust and reputation measures. These measures help agents to determine with whom to interact and what terms and conditions to accept.
COST Action on AT
The overall mission of the COST Action IC0801 on Agreement Technologies was to support and promote the harmonization of nationally-funded high-quality research towards a new paradigm for next generation distributed systems based on the notion of agreement between computational agents, fostering research excellence and sowing the seeds for technology transfer to industry. This mission was backed by following primary objectives:
European research excellence: to facilitate harmonization and improvement in the quality, profile, and industrial relevance of European research in the emerging field of Agreement Technologies, drawing on relevant prior work from related areas and disciplines;
Technology transfer: to gain competitive advantage for the European ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) industry in open distributed software systems.
In support of achieving these primary objectives, the Action aimed at the following goals:
Joint Research: to promote innovative and pragmatic joint research across the community fractions related to Agreement Technologies in different COST member states, and worldwide;
Interdisciplinary Research: to promote interdisciplinary research in the field of Agreement Technologies aimed at a robust understanding of the notion of agreement among computational entities;
Early integration of young researchers: to promote a rapid integration and sustained involvement of early-stage researchers in the community building process;
Capacity Building: to promote high-quality teaching in all aspects related to the Agreement Technology paradigm.
Awareness: to raise awareness of the emerging field of Agreement Technologies technology among the target groups of the Action; and
Early Adoption: to encourage the early adoption of Agreement Technologies and applications in industry.
AT Conference series
The International Conference on Agreement Technologies series constitutes an interdisciplinary forum that brings together researchers and practitioners working on the various topics comprising this emergent and vibrant field, providing an avenue to discuss and exchange new ideas and techniques for the design, implementation and verification of next generation open distributed systems centered on the notion of agreement among computational agents.
First International Conference on Agreement Technologies (AT-2012)
October 15th and 16th, 2012, in Dubrovnik, Croatia
71 Submissions, 27 accepted full papers (38%), 25 accepted position papers
Postproceedings of AT-2012 in AI Review
AT-2012 stream of AI Communications
Second International Conference on Agreement Technologies (AT-2013)
August 1st and 2nd, 2013, in Beijing, China
Postproceedings of AT-2013 in Information Systems Frontiers
AT-2013 Proceedings (LNCS 8068)
Third International Conference on Agreement Technologies (AT-2015)
December 17th and 18th, 2015, in Athens, Greece
Postproceedings of AT-2015 in the AI Communications journal
EUMAS-AT-2015 Proceedings (LNCS 9571)
Fourth International Conference on Agreement Technologies (AT-2016)
December 15th and 16th, 2016, in Valencia, Spain
Postproceedings of AT-2016 in the AI Communications journal
AT-2016 Proceedings (LNCS 10207)
Fifth International Conference on Agreement Technologies (AT-2017)
December 14th and 15th, 2017, in Paris, France
Postproceedings of AT-2017 in the AI Communications journal
Sixth International Conference on Agreement Technologies (AT-2018)
December 6th and 7th, 2018, in Bergen, Norway
Selected and revised papers of AT-2018 in the AI Communications and ComSIS journals
Seventh International Conference on Agreement Technologies (AT-2020)
September 14th and 15th, 2020, in Thessaloniki, Greece (moved to online format due to COVID-19)
Selected and revised papers of EUMAS/AT-2020 in the JAAMAS journal
AT-2020 Postproceedings (LNCS)
The book “Agreement Technologies” was published as volume no 8 in the Law, Governance and Technology Series (LGTS) of Springer Verlag. The book comprises 7 parts, 37 chapters, and 645 pages. Over 100 authors contributed to the volume which is available as e-Book (ISBN 978-94-007-5583-3), as well as in softcover (ISBN 978-94-017-8278-4) and hardcover (ISBN 978-94-007-5582-6).
The back cover text outlines the book as follows:
More and more transactions, whether in business or related to leisure activities, are mediated automatically by computers and computer networks, and this trend is having a significant impact on the conception and design of new computer applications. The next generation of these applications will be based on software agents to which increasingly complex tasks can be delegated, and which interact with each other in sophisticated ways so as to forge agreements in the interest of their human users. The sandbox of technologies supporting this vision is the subject of this volume. It summarises the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action project on AT, during which approximately 200 researchers from 25 European countries, along with eight institutions from non-COST countries, cooperated as part of a number of working groups. The book is the first one to provide a comprehensive overview of the emerging field of Agreement Technologies, written and coordinated by the leading researchers in the field. The results set out here are due for wide dissemination beyond the computer technology sector, involving law and social science fora as well.
A set of videolectures were produced to raise awareness of the emerging field of Agreement Technologies, as well as to encourage the early adoption of the technology and to promote its applications. As such, they summarise and complement the different parts and chapters of the Agreement Technologies Book published in the LGTS series of Springer Verlag.
Examples of Applications