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Ethics of Autonomous Collective Decision-Making: the CAESAR Framework

Publication Type:

Journal article


Science and Engineering Ethics




In recent years, autonomous systems have become an important research area and application domain, with a significant impact on modern society. Such systems are characterized by different levels of autonomy and complex communication infrastructures that allow for collective decision-making strategies. There exist several publications that tackle ethical aspects in such systems, but mostly from the perspective of a single agent. In this paper we go one step further and discuss these ethical challenges from the perspective of an aggregate of autonomous systems capable of collective decision-making. In particular, in this paper, we propose the Caesar approach through which we model the collective ethical decision-making process of a group of actors – agents and humans, as well as define the building blocks for the agents participating in such a process, namely Caesar agents. Factors such as trust, security, safety, and privacy, which affect the degree to which a collective decision is ethical, are explicitly captured in Caesar. Finally, we argue that modeling the collective decision-making in Caesar provides support for accountability.


@article{Frasheri 6565,
author = {Mirgita Frasheri and V{\'a}clav Struh{\'a}r and Alessandro Papadopoulos and Aida Causevic},
title = {Ethics of Autonomous Collective Decision-Making: the CAESAR Framework},
volume = {28},
number = {61},
pages = {1--27},
month = {November},
year = {2022},
journal = {Science and Engineering Ethics},
url = {}