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In a normative environment, an agent's actions are directed not only by its goals but also by the norms activated by its actions and those of other actors. The potential for conflict between agent goals and norms makes decision making challenging, in that it requires looking ahead to consider the longer-term consequences of which goal to satisfy or which norm to comply with in face of conflict. We therefore seek to determine the actions an agent should select at each point in time, taking account of its temporal goals, norms, and their conflicts. We propose a solution in which a normative planning problem is the basis for practical reasoning based on argumentation. Various types of conflict within goals, within norms, and between goals and norms are identified based on temporal properties of these entities. The properties of the best plan(s) with respect to goal achievement and norm compliance are mapped to arguments, followed by mapping their conflicts to attack between arguments, all of which are used to identify why a plan is justified.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems
Issue number3
Early online date29 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2020


  • Argumentation
  • Goals
  • Norms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Software


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