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Negotiation Strategies

  Although COSINE successfully resolves the conflicts among its agents and designs wine glasses, the negotiation behavior of the agents, that is, the strategies they use, are very primitive. The simplicity of the negotiation process among the agents is one of the promises of the SiFA paradigm, but still, the strategies used by COSINE agents are over-simplistic.

More work is needed to construct negotiation strategies. It would be very elegant if these strategies were independent of an agent's design knowledge so that they could be ``plugged into'' any agent. These strategies would probably be dependent on the agent type, and maybe on the level of reference of its target. A library of negotiation strategies for selectors, critics, evaluators, estimators, and praisers on all levels of reference would allow rapid construction of SiFAs with powerful negotiation techniques.

In order to construct various negotiation strategies, the language used among agents needs to be extended beyond the current vocabulary of alternatives and relaxations. Agents need to have more expressive power. Agents probably do not need to understand every other agent, just the ones it can conflict with. The vocabularies of a selector will most likely be very different from the critic of an evaluation of an estimate. The details of the vocabulary have still to be worked out.

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