Negotiation Methods for Autonomous Cooperative Systems:
Papers from the AAAI Fall Symposium
Costas Tsatsoulis, Chair
Negotiation is one important mechanism through which groups of autonomous systems can reach agreement, in a distributed fashion, on the sharing of limited resources or the allocation of tasks. Through negotiation, groups can form cooperative teams, in a bottom-up fashion, to resolve a variety of constraint satisfaction problems. Many competing protocols have been put forward for this purpose, such as auctions, contract nets, bargaining systems, and argumentation systems. Negotiation between autonomous systems has emerged as a significant new reasoning technique.
In cooperative settings, negotiating entities must be able to evaluate local constraints in a way that respects global constraints as much as possible. Such systems are typically characterized by: (1) decentralized control, (2) partial and uncertain information, and (3) some sort of real-time constraint on resource or task allocation. This symposium will provide a forum for researchers to present their work on negotiation for cooperative systems. The focus of this symposium was on:
- Negotiation methods to achieve just-in-time solutions that leave all negotiation partners satisfied, without necessarily achieving an optimal resource distribution, which may be impossible given real-time constraints.
- The application of negotiation techniques to problems of constraint satisfaction, especially in domains where problems are overconstrained.
- Emergent group behavior during and as a result of the negotiation process.
- Comparisons and evaluations of alternative negotiation techniques in cooperative settings.
- Comparisons with other "traditional" reasoning methodologies for groups of agents and for resource allocation or constraint satisfaction.