A first-order theory of communication and multi-agent plans

Ernest Davis, Leora Morgenstern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a theory expressed in first-order logic for describing and supporting inference about action, knowledge, planning, and communication, in an egalitarian multi-agent setting. The underlying ontology of the theory uses a situation-based temporal model and a possible-worlds model of knowledge. It supports plans and communications of a very general kind, both informative communications and requests. Communications may refer to states of the world or states of knowledge in the past, present, or future. We demonstrate that the theory is powerful enough to represent several interesting multi-agent planning problems and to justify their solutions. We have proven that the theory of knowledge, communication, and planning is consistent with a broad range of physical theories, despite the existence of a number of potential paradoxes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-749
Number of pages47
JournalJournal of Logic and Computation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Communication
  • Knowledge
  • Multi-agent planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Logic


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