Document title:

Borda-Count Interaction Protocol Work Plan

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(see authors below)

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Initial Draft


Approved by the FAB (see end for comments)


Gabriel Hopmans

Problem Statement:

This work plan describes the Borda-Count Interaction Protocol mechanism and how it can be applied to a high level dialogue structure for FIPA.


The Borda-Count protocol can be described as mechanism that defines in principle, that points are allocated to alternative strategies. In a collection of X alternatives X points will be allocated to the most preferred strategy, X-1 to the next best, and so on down to the least preferred strategy, which is allocated one point. The protocol requires that all voters have to rank their preferences among the X alternatives. The protocol is used then at a central location to add up the allocated points. The preferences are collected centrally to rank the scores given to each strategy, and to select the strategy with the maximum score as the winner. The Borda Count mechanism is identified as the unique voting method to represent the true wishes of the voters.


The work plan can shortly be described in three steps: formalization, specification and implementation. The areas that are addressed here are the Semantics TC and the FIPA Architecture Board. With the Semantics Technical Committee the Borda Count Protocol has to be formalized, the next step is to approve the proposed preliminary specification. Improvements can be made during implementation and re-specification.


It is claimed that FIPA provides a number of pre-defined high-level protocols, while in fact only the contract net protocol, its iterated version and two auction mechanisms exists. Moreover the Contract Net protocol is the only protocol that is implemented in JADE. [See FIPA Experimental to Standards Workgroup] The problem for FIPA is that there is poor support for dialogue structures by means of Interaction Protocols. Another problem is the difficulty to find paradigmatic structures which can be identified for Agent-based systems. The proposed Borda Count Interaction Protocol contains a common used mechanism that is used in everyday life and is easily mapped and applied in structures for Agent Technology. For the development of more Interaction Protocols a Working Group could be formed, or otherwise this could be an objective in the AUML working group.


Specifications Generated:

·         Generation of FIPA Borda Count Interaction Protocol specification


Plan for Work:

The thesis “F-One Racing-MAS and Borda Count” describes elaborately the work FIPA produced related to Interaction Protocols, introduces the protocol and explains the suitability within FIPA.


The following steps describe the plan for work:

·         First step to admit the richness of the protocol and formalization of the Borda Count Interaction Protocol.

·         Second step: approving the Interaction Protocol and working to first specification

·         Third step: using and implementation of the Interaction Protocol within FIPA platforms. Re-specify the protocol.



·         Milestone 1: Broader audience picking up the formalization of the Borda Count Interaction Protocol.

·         Milestone 2: Recognizing the proposal as a preliminary specification.

·         Milestone 3: Opening call for proposal for new Interaction Protocols.



·         Interaction protocol library

·         Communicative Act library



·         G.Hopmans, University Maastricht

·         P.Braspenning, University Maastricht

·         G.Hopmans, Morpheus Software

·         P.Kruijsen, Morpheus Software


FAB Comments:

            This work plan has been approved and has been assigned to the Protocols TC.