Cognitive agents and multiagent systems

BDI architecture

Beliefs are informational attitudes. Cognition of the agent.

Desires are motivational attitudes. Volition of the agent.

Intentions are the output of filtered selection functions taking beliefs and desires as input.

Agent communication

Communication refers to the exchange or transmission of information, signs, or signals between agents. For cognitive agents, the two main tools for communication are agent messages and agent communication protocols.


Speech act theory

Messages are actions that are used to achieve intentions. Utterances are treated as physical actions that aim to change the state of the world, often by changing the metal states of other agents.

There are 5 basic speech acts:

  • assertive (inform, assert) - from words to world
  • directive (order, request) - from world to words
  • commissive (promise) - from world to words
  • expressive (love declaration) - double direction
  • declarative (blessing, firing) - empty direction

Communication protocols

Structured ways to encode a type of conversation. Protocols structure agent conversations by restricting possible continuations and can be composed, nested, sequenced, etc. to form more complex conversations.

Conversational agents

A program that interprets and responds to users in a natural language.


A piece of software that autonomously generates music in collaboration with other musebots.