Discussion papers

CPM-97-16 - 1 March 1997

SDML: A Multi-Agent Language for Organizational Modelling

Scott Moss, Helen Gaylard, Steve Wallis and Bruce Edmonds

Published as: Moss, S., Gaylard, H, Wallis, S. and Edmonds, B. (1998). SDML: A Multi-agent Language for Organizational Modelling. Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, 4 (1), 43-69


The SDML programming language which is optimized for modelling multi-agent interaction within articulated social structures such as organizations is described with several examples of its functionality. SDML is a strictly declarative modelling language which has object-oriented features and corresponds to a fragment of strongly grounded autoepistemic logic. The virtues of SDML include the ease of building complex models and the facility for representing agents flexibly as models of cognition as well as modularity and code reusability.

Two representations of cognitive agents within organizational structures are reported and a Soar-to-SDML compiler is described. One of the agent representations is a declarative implementation of a Soar agent taken from the Radar-Soar model of Ye and Carley (1995). The Ye-Carley results are replicated but the declarative SDML implementation is shown to be much less computationally expensive than the more procedural Soar implementation. As a result, it appears that SDML supports more elaborate representations of agent cognition together with more detailed articulation of organizational structure than we have seen in computational organization theory. Moreover, by representing Soar-cognitive agents declaratively within SDML, that implementation of the Ye-Carley specification is necessarily consistent and sound with respect to the formal logic to which SDML corresponds.