Tech Reports


Desiderata for Agent Argumentation Protocols

Peter McBurney, Simon Parsons and Michael Wooldridge


Designers of agent communications protocols are increasingly using formal dialogue games, adopted from argumentation theory, as the basis for structured agent interactions. We propose a set of desiderata for such protocols, drawing on recent research in agent interaction, on recent criteria for assessment of automated auction mechanisms and on elements of argumentation theory and political science. We then assess several recent dialogue game protocols against our desiderata, revealing that each protocol has serious weaknesses. For comparison, we also assess the FIPA Agent Communications Language (ACL), thereby showing FIPA ACL to have limited applicability to dialogues not involving purchase negotiations. We conclude with a suggested checklist for designers of dialogue game protocols for agent interactions.

Keywords: Argumentation, Agent Communication Languages, Dialogue Games, Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents (FIPA), Interaction Protocols.

[Full Paper]