DiBeRT - A Distributed Belief Revision Test bed

Purpose The Distributed Belief Revision Tested - DiBeRT is intended to study and model inherently distributed systems, with decentralised control, in which the available information is incomplete and dynamic, and, the time factor is relevant. 
A companion project that has already finished, which tried out to apply most of the topics related with those here described can be found HERE


The decision of how and when to use external beliefs in an agent's knowledge base is fundamental to the characterisation of a distributed belief revision system. The DiBeRT agents act in "good faith" and exchange messages using the direct message passing mechanism, thus guaranteeing, that the information received by a recipient agent is, not only, relevant for its activity, but also, truthful from the sender's perspective. A wide range of different methodologies for the use of incoming beliefs can be adopted by the recipient agents: unconditional use, conditional use, rejection, etc.. From this spectra DiBeRT has chosen two policies for the local use of communicated beliefs: Upon accepting a set of external beliefs, an agent may find itself with conflicting belief status for the same proposition. In such circumstances which belief status to adopt? In DiBeRT three synthesis criteria were implemented guaranteeing the attribution of an unique belief status to every shared proposition: These synthesis criteria reflect different levels of demand: in the case of the ALO synthesis, the belief in a shared proposition by one of the involved agents is enough to make it believed by the system, in the case of the MAJ synthesis, only if the majority of the agents believed in the proposition will the shared proposition be believed by the system, while, in the case of the CON synthesis, only the consensus among the involved agents will make the shared proposition believed by the system.


A test bed for the evaluation and validation of different distributed consistency maintenance methodologies has to be reusable, and user friendly. In DiBeRT, the user is asked, at launch time, to select from the available set of agents the sub-set to be run, the synthesis criterion to be applied, and the level of consistency desired. One of the following four available distributed consistency modes is selected for execution: The private beliefs consistency level is unique: they are locally consistent. After launching the community of multi-agents, the interaction between DiBeRT and the User is performed by a specialised agent called User Interface Agent. The User Interface Agent architecture is identical to the remaining system agents, being the intelligent system role played by User. This interface allows, during runtime: (i) the addition of new assumptions; (ii) the multiple contexts management; (ii) the attribution of specific belief status; (iv) the querying of the system about any beliefs.

For further information please contact:
Benedita Malheiro E-mail: mbnm@fe.up.pt
Eugenio Oliveira E-mail: eco@fe.up.pt