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Cooperation and conflict resolution via negotiation among autonomous agents in noncooperative domains

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2 Author(s)
Zlotkin, G. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Hebrew Univ., Jerusalem, Israel ; Rosenschein, J.S.

The authors present a theoretical negotiation model for rational agents in general noncooperative domains. Necessary and sufficient conditions for cooperation are outlined. By redefining the concept of utility, it is possible to enlarge the number of situations that have a cooperative solution. An approach is offered for conflict resolution, and it is shown that even in a conflict situation, partial cooperative steps can be taken by interacting agents. A unified negotiation protocol is developed that can be used in all cases. It is shown that in certain borderline cooperative situations, a partial cooperative agreement might be preferred by all agents, even though there exists a rational agreement that would achieve all their goals. A deal hierarchy is presented that captures the partial order among various kinds of deals between agents. The multiplan deal, which involves negotiating over a pair of joint plans simultaneously, allows cooperative agreement and conflict resolution in both fixed goal and flexible goal domains

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Systems, Man and Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 6 )