FIPA Confirm Communicative Act Specification


Document title

FIPA Confirm Communicative Act Specification

Document number


Document source


Document status


Date of this status





Change history


Deprecated by FIPA00037


Line numbering added











2000 Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents -

Geneva, Switzerland


Use of the technologies described in this specification may infringe patents, copyrights or other intellectual property rights of FIPA Members and non-members. Nothing in this specification should be construed as granting permission to use any of the technologies described. Anyone planning to make use of technology covered by the intellectual property rights of others should first obtain permission from the holder(s) of the rights. FIPA strongly encourages anyone implementing any part of this specification to determine first whether part(s) sought to be implemented are covered by the intellectual property of others, and, if so, to obtain appropriate licenses or other permission from the holder(s) of such intellectual property prior to implementation. This specification is subject to change without notice. Neither FIPA nor any of its Members accept any responsibility whatsoever for damages or liability, direct or consequential, which may result from the use of this specification.


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1 Scope. 3

2 Confirm.. 3

3 References. 3

1         Scope

This document specifies the Confirm communicative act that is compliant to [FIPA00037] requirements.



2         Confirm


The sender informs the receiver that a given proposition is true, where the receiver is known to be uncertain about the proposition.


A proposition.


The sending agent:


       believes that some proposition is true,


       intends that the receiving agent also comes to believe that the proposition is true, and,


       believes that the receiver is uncertain of the truth of the proposition.

The first two properties defined above are straightforward: the sending agent is sincere[1], and has (somehow) generated the intention that the receiver should know the proposition (perhaps it has been asked). The last pre-condition determines when the agent should use confirm versus inform (see [FIPA00046]) versus disconfirm (see [FIPA00044]): confirm is used precisely when the other agent is already known to be uncertain about the proposition (rather than uncertain about the negation of the proposition).

From the receiver's viewpoint, receiving a confirm message entitles it to believe that:


       the sender believes the proposition that is the content of the message, and,


       the sender wishes the receiver to believe that proposition also.


Whether or not the receiver does, indeed, change its mental attitude to one of belief in the proposition will be a function of the receiver's trust in the sincerity and reliability of the sender.

Formal Model

<i, confirm( j, f )>
FP: Bi
f BiUjf
RE: Bj


Agent i confirms to agent j that it is, in fact, true that it is snowing today.



:sender i

:receiver j


"weather( today, snowing )"
:language Prolog)

3         References

[FIPA00037] FIPA Communicative Act Library Specification. Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents, 2000.

[FIPA00044] FIPA Disconfirm Communicative Act Specification. Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents, 2000.

[FIPA00046] FIPA Inform Communicative Act Specification. Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents, 2000.

[1] Arguably there are situations where an agent might not want to be sincere, for example to protect confidential information. We consider these cases to be beyond the current scope of this specification.