A Decentralized Model for Automated Multi-attribute Negotiations with Incomplete Information and General Utility Functions

Guoming Lai, Katia Sycara, and Cuihong Li
Journal of Multi Agent and Grid Systems, Vol. 4, No. 1, January, 2008


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Abstract
This paper presents a decentralized model that allows self-interested agents to reach "win-win" agreements in a multi-attribute negotiation. The model is based on an alternating-offer protocol. In each period, the proposing agent is allowed to make a limited number of offers. The responding agent can select the best out of these offers. In the case of rejection, agents exchange their roles and the negotiation proceeds to the next period. To make counter offers, an agent first uses the heuristic of choosing the offer on an indifference (or "iso-utility") curve/surface that is closest to the best offer made by the opponent in the previous period, and then taking this offer as the seed, chooses several other offers randomly in a specified neighborhood of this seed offer. Experimental results show that this model induces agents to reach near Pareto optimal agreements in general situations where agents have complex preferences on the attributes and incomplete information. This model does not require the presence of a mediator.

Keywords
agents, automated multi-attribute negotiations, decentralized model of negotiations, incomplete information, general utility functions

Notes
Sponsor: Office of Naval Research and the Navy Personnel Research, Studies and Technology (NPRST)
Grant ID: N6610-98-D-9501
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Center for Integrated Manfacturing Decision Systems
Associated Lab(s) / Group(s): Advanced Agent - Robotics Technology Lab
Number of pages: 35

Text Reference
Guoming Lai, Katia Sycara, and Cuihong Li, "A Decentralized Model for Automated Multi-attribute Negotiations with Incomplete Information and General Utility Functions," Journal of Multi Agent and Grid Systems, Vol. 4, No. 1, January, 2008

BibTeX Reference
@article{Lai_2008_6140,
   author = "Guoming Lai and Katia Sycara and Cuihong Li",
   title = "A Decentralized Model for Automated Multi-attribute Negotiations with Incomplete Information and General Utility Functions",
   journal = "Journal of Multi Agent and Grid Systems",
   month = "January",
   year = "2008",
   volume = "4",
   number = "1",
}