Norms, Institutions, and Robots

Tomic, Stevan, Pecora, Federico, Saffiotti, Alessandro Artificial Intelligence 

Interactions within human societies are usually regulated by social norms. If robots are to be accepted into human society, it is essential that they are aware of and capable of reasoning about social norms. In this paper, we focus on how to represent social norms in societies with humans and robots, and how artificial agents such as robots can reason about social norms in order to plan appropriate behavior. We use the notion of institution as a way to formally define and encapsulate norms. We provide a formal framework built around the notion of institution. The framework distinguishes between abstract norms and their semantics in a concrete domain, hence allowing the use of the same institution across physical domains and agent types. It also provides a formal computational framework for norm verification, planning, and plan execution in a domain.