Saturday 7 February 2009

New Argument-Based Negotiation Policy

- An agent is initially allocated a set of resources, possibly none.
- Resources are not divisible. An agent either has a particular resource or it does not.
- Resources are not shareable. No two agents have the same resource.
- An agent has at most one goal, possibly none.
- Goals are fulfilled by single resources.
- A certain goal may be fulfilled by a choice of different resources.
- A certain resource may fulfil a choice of different goals.

Allowed dialogues:
- Request dialogue between two agents (an initiator and a responder), each agent involved gives away at most one resource.
- Proposal dialogue between three or more agents (an initiator and a set of responders), each agent involved gives away at most one resource.
- A reason (Conclusion, Support) is provided with refusal/rejection only.

Pros of the policy:
- Computes the right solution (i.e. maximum number of agents fulfil their goal) when agents share all resource-goal 'fulfils' plans (from the outset).
- It is an 'any-time algorithm', i.e. resources are reallocated in such a way that the 'social welfare' does not decrease at any point. Also, the resource allocation can be modified as agents enter the system (without decreasing the 'social welfare' at any point).

Cons of the policy:
- Wasteful in number of requests/proposals. Instead, maybe, agents should ask initially, "do you have any resource that can fulfil my goal given that I know these resources (Rs) fulfil my goal?"

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