In this paper we consider the relation between desires and obligations in normative multiagent systems. We introduce a model of their relation based on what we call the social delegation cycle, which explains the creation of norms from agent desires in three steps. First individual agent desires generate group goals, then a group goal is individualized in a social norm, and finally the norm is accepted by the agents when it leads to the fulfilment of the desires the cycle started with. We formalize the social delegation cycle by formalizing goal generation as a merging process of the individual agent desires, we formalize norm creation as a planning process for both the obligation and the associated sanctions or rewards, and we formalize the acceptance relation as both a belief of agents that the fulfilment of the norm leads to achievement of their desires, and the belief that other agents will act according to the norm.
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