Monday, 22 December 2008

44, Towards Interest-Based Negotiation

Some thoughts following on from reading 'Towards Interest-Based Negotiation' (2003) by Iyad Rahwan et al with my aamas-submitted (not accepted) paper in mind:

The paper contains some nice ideas about goal selection which would (/could!) be useful in a (larger) context of multi-agent negotiation (/resource allocation) and in building a generative model (as I intend), but the work here leaves much unspecified and is not generative in and of itself. What is presented in Section 5 ("Dialogues about Goals") is a protocol. No policy or strategy is defined. This is left for future work. I will read the authors' newer paper ('An Empirical Study of Interest-Based Negotiation') to see if this is done and also any other related (later papers) by the authors.

In addition, the framework deals with agent systems consisting of two agents only.

Content of the paper: "Arguing about goals vs Arguing about beliefs", "Agents and goal support" (goals and beliefs/subgoals/supergoals/roles/adoption), "How to attack a goal" (attacking beliefs/subgoals/supergoals), "Dialogues about goals".

"Goal arguments" are presented to be of the form (H:G), where H is the triple support (SuperGoal,Beliefs,SubGoals) for G.

An interesting question, identified as outside the scope of this paper, is: How does an agent, given a top-level goal, generate (from the various options) the set of (sub-) goals to achieve? Suggested approaches: consider the costs of adopting different plans as well as the utilities of the goals achieved, or, identify the goal(s) with the strongest support.

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