Negotiating Complex Contracts

Mark Klein, Peyman Faratin, Hiroki Sayama, and Yaneer Bar-Yam

Work to date on computational models of negotiation has focused almost exclusively on defining contracts consisting of one or a few independent issues, linear utility functions, and tractable contract spaces. Many real-world contracts, by contrast, are much more complex, consisting of multiple inter-dependent issues, nonlinear utility functions, and intractably large contract spaces. This paper describes a simulated annealing based approach appropriate for negotiating such complex contracts, evaluates its efficacy, and suggests potentially promising avenues for defining more efficient algorithms for negotiating complex contracts.

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