DPCL: a Language Template for Normative Specifications

by   Giovanni Sileno, et al.

Several solutions for specifying normative artefacts (norms, contracts, policies) in a computational processable way have been presented in the literature. Legal core ontologies have been proposed to systematize concepts and relationships relevant to normative reasoning. However, no solution amongst those has achieved general acceptance, and no common ground (representational, computational) has been identified enabling us to easily compare them. Yet, all these efforts share the same motivation of representing normative directives, therefore it is plausible that there may be a representational model encompassing all of them. This presentation will introduce DPCL, a domain-specific language (DSL) for specifying higher-level policies (including norms, contracts, etc.), centred on Hohfeld's framework of fundamental legal concepts. DPCL has to be seen primarily as a "template", i.e. as an informational model for architectural reference, rather than a fully-fledged formal language; it aims to make explicit the general requirements that should be expected in a language for norm specification. In this respect, it goes rather in the direction of legal core ontologies, but differently from those, our proposal aims to keep the character of a DSL, rather than a set of axioms in a logical framework: it is meant to be cross-compiled to underlying languages/tools adequate to the type of target application. We provide here an overview of some of the language features.


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