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Handling Mitigating Circumstances for Electronic Contracts
Miles, Simon and Groth, Paul and Luck, Michael (2008) Handling Mitigating Circumstances for Electronic Contracts. In: AISB 2008 Symposium on Behaviour Regulation in Multi-agent Systems, 1-2 Apr 2008, Aberdeen, UK.
Electronic contracts are a means of representing agreed responsibilities and expected behaviour of autonomous agents acting on behalf of businesses. They can be used to regulate behaviour by providing negative consequences, penalties, where the responsibilities and expectations are not met, i.e. the contract is violated. However, long-term business relationships require some flexibility in the face of circumstances that do not conform to the assumptions of the contract, that is, mitigating circumstances. In this paper, we describe how contract parties can represent and enact policies on mitigating circumstances. As part of this, we require records of what has occurred within the system leading up to a violation: the provenance of the violation. We therefore bring together contract-based and provenance systems to solve the issue of mitigating circumstances.
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