Two Kinds of Conflicts between Desires (and How to Resolve Them)

Jérôme Lang, Leendert van der Torre, and Emil Weydert

Autonomous agents frequently reason about preferences such as desires and goals, and many logics have been proposed to formalize reasoning about such concepts. Though sophisticated enough to handle many aspects of preferences (such as specificity, priority, or context-dependence), these approaches fail to represent conflicts in a suitable way. In this paper we start with conflicts in Boutilier’s logic of qualitative decision, and our main claim is that the various types of conflicts can be clustered in two groups, respectively based on what we call utopian worlds and hidden uncertainty. We also sketch how Boutilier’s logic can be relaxed to represent these two classes in a consistent way.

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