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Emergent Behavior

  The negotiation graphs do not fully determine how a negotiation will proceed since there are multiple paths through a negotiation graph. The particular path followed in a negotiation depends on the context in which the conflict occurred, the particular strategies of the involved agents, their internal knowledge, and their internal states. There is also the possibility of changing negotiation modes during negotiation.

This means that the the negotiation behavior of the agents cannot be predicted accurately in advance and the systems behavior as a whole will emerge at run-time as a function of the negotiation capabilities of the agents in the system.

Furthermore, if the agents are built without a priori knowledge of the negotiation graphs, then it is not possible to predict even the general structure of the negotiations before run-time.

Although each SiFA is extremely specialized and well defined in what can do and how it behaves in every situation, the power, flexibility, and unpredictability of a design system based on the SiFA paradigm, comes from the richness of the interaction between SiFAs. This rich interaction is the result of the negotiation process described in this chapter.

All of this potential for variability and the emergence of unexpected overall behavior of the SiFA based design system allows for the possibility of producing designs that will be judged as being creative, at least by the designers of the SiFA system.

Ilan Berker
Thu Apr 27 16:25:38 EDT 1995