Detection and resolution of normative conflicts in multi-agent systems: a literature survey

Jéssica Santos, Jean Zahn, Eduardo Silvestre, Viviane T Silva, Wamberto W M P D Vasconcelos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


Multi-agents systems are composed of autonomous and possibly heterogeneous software agents that act according to their own interests. Some coordination mechanism must be adopted to ensure a proper functioning of the whole system. Norms can be viewed as a powerful means to regulate and influence the behaviour of the agents by specifying, for instance, obligations, permissions, or prohibitions in a given context. A critical issue that must be considered in a system governed by multiple norms is the possible existence of normative conflicts. A conflict between norms is a situation in which the fulfillment of a norm causes a violation of another one. In this paper, we present several techniques that have been proposed to detect and resolve normative conflicts in multi-agent systems. Our aim is to organize the literature, present a classification of the techniques found, and provide a means to compare alternative approaches dealing with normative conflicts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1236-1282
Number of pages47
JournalAutonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems
Issue number6
Early online date1 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Norms
  • Conflict detection
  • Conflict resolution
  • Multi-agent systems


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