Y. Luo and L. Bölöni

Analyzing and exploiting the competitiveness of scenarios for negotiating convoy formation under time constraints


Cite as:

Y. Luo and L. Bölöni. Analyzing and exploiting the competitiveness of scenarios for negotiating convoy formation under time constraints. Multiagent and Grid Systems - an International Journal, 6(5,6):415–435, December 2010. Special Issue of Advances in Agent-mediated Automated Negotiations

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Abstract:

In the convoy formation problem, two embodied agents are negotiating the synchronization of their movement for a portion of the path from their respective sources to destinations. As equilibrium strategies are not practically possible, we are interested in strategies with bounded rationality, which achieve good performance in a wide range of practical negotiation scenarios. Naturally, the performance of a strategy is dependent on the strategy of the opponent and the characteristics of the scenario. The goal of this paper is to develop a \em collaborativeness metric of the negotiation scenario which formalizes our intuition of collaborative scenarios (where the agents' interests are closely aligned) versus competitive scenarios (where the gain of the utility for one agent is paid off with a loss of utility for the other agent). We are using the Children in the Rectangular Forest (CRF) game as a canonical model of convoy formation, assume zero initial knowledge and a negotiation protocol requiring mandatory, but non-binding evaluations of the opponents offer. We also assume that the negotiation happens in physical time. We describe two negotiation strategies: the comparatively simple Internal Negotiation Deadline (IND) strategy and the computationally more expensive Uniform Concession (UC) strategy. Then, we describe how these strategies can be augmented by collaborativeness analysis: we approximate the collaborativeness metric in the first several negotiation rounds, and use the result to cut short the negotiation when the estimated collaborativeness is lower than a threshold. Through an experimental study, we show that augmenting the strategies with collaborativeness analysis significantly improves their performance for low collaborativeness scenarios, with only a minimal penalty in high collaborativeness scenarios.

BibTeX:

@article{Luo-2010-MAGS,
author = "Y. Luo and L. B{\"o}l{\"o}ni",
title = "Analyzing and exploiting the competitiveness of scenarios for negotiating convoy formation under time constraints",
journal = "Multiagent and Grid Systems - an International Journal",
note = "Special Issue of Advances in Agent-mediated Automated Negotiations",
year = "2010",
volume = {6},
number = {5,6},
month = {December},
issn = {1574-1702},
pages = {415--435},
abstract = {
  In the convoy formation problem, two embodied agents are negotiating
  the synchronization of their movement for a portion of the path from
  their respective sources to destinations. As equilibrium strategies
  are not practically possible, we are interested in strategies with
  bounded rationality, which achieve good performance in a wide range
  of practical negotiation scenarios. Naturally, the performance of a
  strategy is dependent on the strategy of the opponent and the
  characteristics of the scenario. The goal of this paper is to
  develop a {\em collaborativeness metric} of the negotiation scenario
  which formalizes our intuition of collaborative scenarios (where the
  agents' interests are closely aligned) versus competitive scenarios
  (where the gain of the utility for one agent is paid off with a loss
  of utility for the other agent).
  We are using the Children in the Rectangular Forest (CRF) game as a
  canonical model of convoy formation, assume zero initial knowledge
  and a negotiation protocol requiring mandatory, but non-binding
  evaluations of the opponents offer. We also assume that the
  negotiation happens in physical time. We describe two negotiation
  strategies: the comparatively simple Internal Negotiation Deadline
  (IND) strategy and the computationally more expensive Uniform
  Concession (UC) strategy. Then, we describe how these strategies can
  be augmented by collaborativeness analysis: we approximate the
  collaborativeness metric in the first several negotiation rounds,
  and use the result to cut short the negotiation when the estimated
  collaborativeness is lower than a threshold. Through an experimental
  study, we show that augmenting the strategies with collaborativeness
  analysis significantly improves their performance for low
  collaborativeness scenarios, with only a minimal penalty in high
  collaborativeness scenarios.
 },
}

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