Reasoning in intelligent agents

This project is concerned with developing representation and automated reasoning mechanisms for intelligent autonomous agents.

Such agents are equipped with higher-level cognitive functions that involve reasoning, for example, about beliefs and goals, actions, perception, plan coordination, the mental states of other agents, collaborative task execution, etc.

Agents of this sort can be used to realize complex systems, from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to companion interactive toys to personalised assistant sofbots. While the main focus is on Belief-Desire-Intention (BDI) type of agents, the members are also interested and work actively with other models of agency.

The group has been active for more than 10 years and has a strong reputation and presence in the agents as well as in the knowledge representation and reasoning research communities.

The group publishes frequently in top-rated AI conferences such as IJCAI, KR, AAMAS, AAAI and ICAPS, and in related journals such as JAAMAS, AMAI, and JAR. It has more than 5 PhD completions and has extensive collaboration links with various international groups, including the Artificial Research Institute of the Spanish Research, the Decision Support Systems group at Utrecht University, the Knowledge Representation and Data and Service Integration group at Sapienza Universita' di Roma, and the Cognitive Robotics group at the University of Toronto, among others.

The project has attracted eight ARC Grants (Discovery and Linkage) in the area of agent reasoning, which demonstrates its strong presence in academia and links with industry.

There are currently two active grants in the area, namely:

Some recent past grants include:

  • Complex Decision Making in Intelligent Agents (ARC Linkage)
  • A Framework for Adaptive Extensible Personae for Interactive Toys (ARC Linkage)
  • Planning and Learning in BDI Agents (ARC Linkage)
  • Service-oriented negotiation and coordination in multi-agent systems (ARC Discovery)
  • Description, Composition, Discovery, and Deployment of Intelligent Agent Services (DEST Grant)
  • Flexible and Robust Protocol-Based Interaction between Agents in Open Systems (ARC Linkage)

Key people


  • Professor Lin Padgham¬†(contact person)
  • Associate Professor James Harland
  • Dr Sebastian Sardina
  • Dr John Thangarajah
  • Dr Lawrence Cavedon
  • Dr Steven Shapiro
  • Dr Wilson Wong


  • Nitin Yadav
  • Dhirendra Singh
  • Daniel Macias Galindo
  • Abhijeet Anand


aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer