PhD Course
Reasoning about Action and High-Level Programs
Summer 2009

Dipartamento di Informatica e Sistemistica,
Universita di Roma "La Sapienza"

Brief Description

This course will discuss a framework for reasoning about action using the Situation Calculus, as well as languages for high-level programming of autonomous agents based on it. Autonomous agents are active entities that perceive their environment, reason, plan and execute appropriate actions to achieve their goals (in service of their users), react to external changes, and have social abilities that allow them to communicate and interact with other agents and users. These may be robots or intelligent software agents that "live" on the Internet. Agent-based approaches are good for building open systems where components can come and go, and work together in flexible ways. This course will focus on the Golog-family of Situation Calculus-based agent programming languages. The course will show how this work is relevant for many applications beyond the traditional area of artificial intelligence, e.g. process management and service composition/orchestration.

What's new


Prof. Yves Lespérance
Office: B109
Tel: ext. 34124
Email: lesperan at

Prof. Adrian Pearce
Office: B109
Tel: 34124
Email: adrianrp at

Prof. Giuseppe De Giacomo
Office: B109
Tel: 34010
Email: degiacomo at


Normally Tuesday and Thursday from 14:00 to 15:30 in A3; see schedule below.


If you are taking the course for credit, see the instructors to arrange evaluation.


References and Links

General References

Reiter, R., Knowledge in Action: Logical Foundations for Specifying and Implementing Dynamical Systems, MIT Press, 2001. Publisher, Book home page.

Wooldridge M., An Introduction to Multiagent Systems - Second Edition, Wiley, 2009.

Ronald J. Brachman and Hector J. Levesque, Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann, 2004.

Bordini, R.H., Dastani, M., Dix, J., and El Fallah Seghrouchni, A. (Eds.) Multi-Agent Programming: Languages, Platforms and Applications, Springer 2005. Publisher.

Bordini, R.H., Dastani, M., Dix, J., and El Fallah Seghrouchni, A. (Eds.) Multi-Agent Programming: Languages, Tools and Applications, Springer 2009. Publisher.

Singh, M.P. and Huhns, M.N. Service-Oriented Computing: Semantics, Processes, Agents,Wiley 2005.

Weiss, Gerhard (Ed.), Multiagent Systems, A Modern Approach to Distributed Artificial Intelligence, MIT Press, 1999. Publisher.

Huhns, M.N. and Singh, M.P. (Eds.), Readings in Agents, Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco, CA, 1997.

Wooldridge M. and Jennings, N.R., Intelligent Agents: Theory and Practice, Knowledge Engineering Review, 10 (2), 115-152, 1995; PDF version, HTML version.

Bradshaw, J. (Ed.), Software Agents, AAAI Press/MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1997.

Jennings, N.R. and Wooldridge, M. (Eds.), Agent Technology: Foundations, Applications, and Markets, Springer Verlag, Berlin, 1998.

Wooldridge, M. and Rao, A. (Eds.), Foundations of Rational Agency, Applied Logic Series, Vol. 14, Kluwer, Dordrecht, 1999.

Fagin, R., Halpern, J.Y., Moses, Y., and Vardi, M.Y. Reasoning about Knowledge. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1995.

Clocksin, W.F. and Mellish, C.S., Programming in Prolog, Springer Verlag, New York, 1987. Third edition.

Russell, S.J. and Norvig, P., Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, 2nd Edition Prentice Hall, 2003.

Readings and Lecture Transparencies