Tech Reports


Democracy in Open Agent Systems

Peter McBurney and Simon Parsons


What sort of democracies are open agent societies? We present three normative models of democracy from political philosophy and consider their relevance for open multi-agent systems: democracy as wise rule by an elite; democracy as the exercise of rational consumer choices by voters; and democracy as deliberative decision-making by citizens. We consider the implications of these different models for the design of open systems, in terms of the communications language, the interaction protocol, and the conflict-resolution mechanism used by the agents involved. We also consider the issue of verifiability of the internal semantics of communications languages, and argue that a model of agent democracy based on deliberative democracy provides the basis for a form of verifiability which is stronger than a social semantics. Keywords:Agent communications languages, deliberative democracy, open agent systems, political philosophy, philosophical foundations, rational choice, rationality, social semantics.

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