A Logical Model of Directed Obligations and Permissions to Support Electronic Contracting

Yao-Hua Tan and Walter Thoen
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 3, Number 2, Winter 1998-99, pp. 87.

Abstract: In electronic commerce paper-based trade documents are replaced by electronic messages that can be processed automatically by computer applications. Electronic contracting and negotiating is an advanced type of automated processing of electronic messages. The actual trade contract is negotiated on-line and concluded via an electronic network. To develop support software for electronic contracting, it is essential to have an adequate model of the content of a contract. One of the requirements of such a model is that it gives an adequate analysis of the obligations and rights of the partners to a contract. Obligations and permissions in trade contracts typically are directed: they hold between two parties. An example of a directed obligation is the obligation of a buyer to pay the seller money in exchange for goods. We present a formal model of directed obligations and permissions in trade contracts. This formal model can be used for the specification of software to support electronic contracting.

Key Words and Phrases: Action logic, deontic logic, electronic commerce, electronic contracting, formal specification.