Preliminary thoughts on an agent description language

Becky Thomas, Yoav Shoham, Anton Schwartz, Sarit Kraus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


As part of our work on agent‐oriented programming,1 we are developing an agent description language. We describe an agent's “mental state” in terms of its knowledge, beliefs, desires, commitments, and abilities. Our goal is not to specify human knowledge, beliefs, etc., but rather to devise a more limited, precise language to facilitate programming agents and interagent communication. We believe that borrowing from our intuition about these commonsense terms will simplify the human designer's job. This article describes a preliminary version of our language. We define a temporal language with modal operators representing knowledge, belief, desire, commitment, and ability. This is a propositional language with quantification over time points and agents only.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-508
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Intelligent Systems
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1991
Externally publishedYes


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