Promise Theory, in the context of information science, is a model of voluntary cooperation between individual, autonomous actors or agents who publish their intentions to one another in the form of promises. It is a form of labelled graph theory, describing discrete networks of agents joined by the unilateral promises they make.
A 'promise' is a declaration of intent whose purpose is to increase the recipient's certainty about a claim of past, present or future behaviour. For a promise to increase certainty, the recipient needs to trust the promiser, but trust can also be built on the verification (or 'assessment') that previous promises have been kept, thus trust plays a symbiotic relationship with promises. Each agent assesses its belief in the promise's outcome or intent. Thus Promise Theory is about the relativity of autonomous agents.
One of the goals of Promise Theory is to offer a model that unifies the physical (or dynamical) description of an information system with its intended meaning, i.e. its semantics. This has been used to describe configuration management of resources in information systems, amongst other things.