A Praxeology for Rational Negotiation

Wynn C. Stirling and Todd K. Moon

Multi-agent artificial decision systems require a praxeology, or science of efficient action, that accommodates complex interactions between decision makers. Conventional praxeologies are built on the paradigm of rational choice, which comprises the two companion premises of totally-ordered preferences and individual rationality. Exclusive self-interest when negotiating, however, engenders a pessimistic and defensive attitude, and limits the ability of a decision maker to accommodate the interests of others, and therefore may unnecessarily constrain the negotiability of a decision maker, particularly in cooperative environments. This paper provides a distinct alternative to the hyperrationality of conventional rational choice by waiving reliance on the individual rationality premise and offering an approach to negotiatory decision making that is based on a well-defined mathematical notion of satisficing, or being good enough, that permits the modeling of complex interrelationships between agents, including cooperation, unselfishness, and altruism.

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