Choosing social laws for multi-agent systems: minimality and simplicity

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The design of social laws for artificial agent societies is a basic approach to coordinating multi-agent systems. It exposes the spectrum between fully-centralized and fully-decentralized coordination mechanisms. Useful social laws set constraints on the agents' activities which allow them to work individually in a mutually compatible manner. The design of useful social laws is a problem of considerable importance. In many cases, several useful social laws might be considered, and we might wish to have some criteria in order to choose among them. In this paper, we present the notions of minimal and simple social laws, which capture two basic criteria for selecting among alternative (useful) social laws, and study these criteria in the framework of basic settings, namely Automated Guided Vehicles and Distributed Computing. We also present results with regard to computational issues related to minimal and simple social laws, and to the relationship between these two concepts. Together, the new insights provided here can be used as a basic framework for the analysis of 'good' social laws, and initiate research on the selection among alternative social laws.




Fitoussi, D., & Tennenholtz, M. (2000). Choosing social laws for multi-agent systems: minimality and simplicity. Artificial Intelligence, 119(1), 61–101.

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