A logic-based model of intention formation and action for multi-agent subcontracting

John Grant, Sarit Kraus, Donald Perlis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We present a formalism for representing the formation of intentions by agents engaged in cooperative activity. We use a syntactic approach presenting a formal logical calculus that can be regarded as a meta-logic that describes the reasoning and activities of the agents. Our central focus is on the evolving intentions of agents over time, and the conditions under which an agent can adopt and maintain an intention. In particular, the reasoning time and the time taken to subcontract are modeled explicitly in the logic. We axiomatize the concept of agent interactions in the meta-language, show that the meta-theory is consistent and describe the unique intended model of the meta-theory. In this context we deal both with subcontracting between agents and the presence of multiple recipes, that is, multiple ways of accomplishing tasks. We show that under various initial conditions and known facts about agent beliefs and abilities, the meta-theory representation yields good results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-201
Number of pages39
JournalArtificial Intelligence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
✩ This research was supported by NSF under grant IIS-0222914 and by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Office of Naval Research. Preliminary version appeared in the proceedings of AAAI-2002. We wish to thank the referees for many helpful comments and suggestions. * Corresponding author. E-mail addresses: jgrant@towson.edu (J. Grant), sarit@umiacs.umd.edu (S. Kraus), perlis@cs.umd.edu (D. Perlis).


  • Cooperative agents
  • Intentions
  • Minimal model semantics
  • Subcontracting
  • Syntactic logic


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