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Commitments provide a basis for understanding interactions in multiagent systems. Successful interoperation relies upon the interacting parties being aligned with respect to their commitments. However, alignment is nontrivial in a distributed system where agents communicate asynchronously and make different observations. The authors propose a formalization for commitments that ensures alignment despite asynchrony. This formalization consists of three elements: A semantics of commitment operations; messaging patterns that implement the commitment operations; and weak constraints on agents' behaviors to ensure the propagation of vital information. They prove that the formalization ensures alignment. They illustrate the generality of the formalization with several real-life scenarios.
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