Identifying indirect normative conflicts using the WordNet database
A challenging issue in Multi-agent systems governed by multiple norms is to deal with normative conflicts, which are situations where the fulfilment of a norm violates another one. There are several approaches in the literature to detect conflicting norms. Some kinds of conflicts, here called direct conflicts, can be detected through a simple comparison between the elements of the norms in order to check if they apply to the same elements. For instance, if an obligation and a prohibition are applied to the same entity and govern the same behavior in periods of time that intersects, these norms are in conflict. However, there are conflicts, here called indirect conflicts, that can only be detected if the relationships among the elements of the norms are taken into account. The majority of approaches that are able to detect indirect conflict considers the relationships of the application domain that have been previously defined by the designer. Different from those approaches, this paper focuses on the detection of indirect conflicts by taking into account domain-independent relationships that have not been declared by the designer of the multi-agent system. Our proposal searches for domain-independent relationships among the elements of the norms in the WordNet database.