Formalising commitments using the event calculus

Joost de Kruijff*, Hans Weigand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Smart Contracts enable the automated execution of exchanges on the blockchain. From an ontological perspective, smart contracts create and
automate the fulfillment of social commitments between actors. Whereas
traditional deontic logic is used to make a legal determination in contractual
multi-actor interactions, we focus on the consequences of these actions
resulting from that determination, thereby shifting the focus from monitoring
to execution. The interactions between actors and the consequences in terms
of commitments have not yet been formalized for smart contracts. The
perspective of smart contracts is interesting, since they are considered to be
autonomous agents, able to generate automated actions. We use the Event
Calculus to formalize logic in order to represent and reason about the effects
of these automated actions and the resulting commitments. Since the Event
Calculus deals with local events and the consideration of time, this approach
enables the uniform representation of commitments, including their
operations and reasoning rules about them.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the VMBO 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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