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A Generic Software Framework for Automated Negotiation

Bartolini, Claudio; Preist, Chris; Jennings, Nicholas R.


Keyword(s): automated negotiation; electronic marketplaces; negotiation protocols; software framework

Abstract: If agents are to negotiate automatically with one another they need to follow a shared protocol. The protocol specifies the way in which negotiation should take place, including the flow of messages to be used. To date, most research in this area has focused on defining specific protocols for different kinds of interaction. Here we propose an alternative approach. We define a simple interaction protocol which can be used in all circumstances, and a general interaction framework using this protocol. This framework can be parameterized with different negotiation rules. By choosing different sets of rules, different negotiation mechanisms can be implemented. We present a taxonomy of such rules, together with examples of specific negotiation mechanisms. We also describe our implementation of the framework using the Jade multi- agent platform integrated with the Java Expert System Shell (Jess). Notes: Nicholas R. Jennings, Dept. of Electronics & Computer Science, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, UK

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