Formalizing commitments using the event calculus and RuleML

Joost de Kruijff*, Hans Weigand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-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, this paper focuses 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 as a formal logic 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-420
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Blockchain
  • Smart Contracts
  • commitments
  • the Event Calculus


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