Seminar on Multi-Agent Systems

16 Mai 2005




Pr. Frank Dignum from Utrecht University, Intelligent Systems Group, The Netherlands

Pr. Yves Lespérance from York University, Department of Computer Science, Toronto, Canada


Dr. Jamal Bentahar

    Local: Department of Computer Science, Laval University, PLT 2783


14:30 Agents for Electronic Commerce (F. Dignum)


In order for software agents to perform business transactions on behalf of humans, their interaction should be strictly regulated. Only in that case will people trust the agents to do the "right thing". Interactions can very well be regulated using electronic institutions. A good example of an institution is an auction house such as e-Bay. In order to describe the interactions and the constraints on them the use of norms is inevitable. In this presentation I will indicate how norms and electronic institutions can help agents to gain advantage in electronic commerce.

15:30 Discussion

15:45 CASL: a Cognitive Agent Specification Language (Y. Lespérance)


The Cognitive Agent Specification Language (CASL) is a framework for specifying and verifying complex communicating multi-agent systems. In this talk, I will discuss an extended version, ECASL, which incorporates a formal model of means-ends reasoning suitable for a multi-agent context.  In particular, we define a simple model of cooperative ability, give a definition of rational plans, and show how an agent's intentions play a role in determining her next actions. This bridges the gap between intentions to achieve a goal and intentions to act. We also show that in the absence of interference, an agent that is able to achieve a goal, intends to do so, and is acting rationally will eventually achieve it.  This is joint work with my student Shakil Khan.

16:45 Discussion


F. Dignum’s Short CV:

Frank Dignum is an associate professor at Utrecht University since 2000 and has been working in the field of agents and e-commerce at Eindhoven University of technology before since 1993. During that period he has been manager of the FP5 project MEMO which developed a tool for mediating and monitoring business transactions between SME’s. He is a member of the program committee of many workshops and conferences in the area of agent research. He has also co-organized several workshops in the area of agents and e-commerce. He was coordinating a working group on agent mediated e-commerce in the AgentLink Network of Excellence.

He has been a visiting professor for PhD courses at UPC for several years, has been an invited professor at the University of Melbourne and an adjunct professor at the Union Institute of Ohio.

He has also taught at the European Summer School on Agent Systems in 2002, 2003 and 2004 as well as in the Agent
Systems School in Melbourne in 2003.

Fom more details see

Y. Lespérance’s Short CV:

Yves Lespérance is an associate professor at York University. His research interests are: Intelligent Agents, Mobile Robotics, Knowledge Representation and Reasoning

Here is a list of current research projects led by Yves Lespérance

 For more details see