Verifying time, memory and communication Bounds in systems of reasoning agents

Synthese 169 (2):385 - 403 (2009)
We present a framework for verifying systems composed of heterogeneous reasoning agents, in which each agent may have differing knowledge and inferential capabilities, and where the resources each agent is prepared to commit to a goal (time, memory and communication bandwidth) are bounded. The framework allows us to investigate, for example, whether a goal can be achieved if a particular agent, perhaps possessing key information or inferential capabilities, is unable (or unwilling) to contribute more than a given portion of its available computational resources or bandwidth to the problem. We present a novel temporal epistemic logic, BMCL-CTL , which allows us to describe a set of reasoning agents with bounds on time, memory and the number of messages they can exchange. The bounds on memory and communication are expressed as axioms in the logic. As an example, we show how to axiomatise a system of agents which reason using resolution and prove that the resulting logic is sound and complete. We then show how to encode a simple system of reasoning agents specified in BMCL-CTL in the description language of the Mocha model checker (Alur et al., Proceedings of the tenth international conference on computer-aided verification (CAV) , 1998), and verify that the agents can achieve a goal only if they are prepared to commit certain time, memory and communication resources.
Keywords Distributed reasoning  Resource bounds  Epistemic logic
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