Agents are well-suited for dynamic, constrained, and real-time environments such as electronic marketplaces. In such environments agents representing their users negotiate for goods and services following negotiation protocols. Bargaining and auctions are the principal negotiation protocols for buying and selling goods based upon competition among the interested parties. This tutorial will introduce participants to agent-based negotiations. The tutorial will start by introducing agent-based negotiation and negotiation protocols in general. Bargaining and auctions will then be described in detail. Essential concepts that are required for following the tutorial will be introduced along the way. The bargaining problem will be introduced and the principal non-cooperative bargaining protocol (Rubinstein's alternating-offers) will be discussed in detail. Variations and applications Rubinstein's protocol in computer science will be presented. The four single side auction protocols (English, Dutch, FPSB, Vickrey) will be discussed in depth along with their relative advantages and disadvantages. Double auctions and the M-th and (M+1)-st clearing rules will also be covered. A brief exposition into more advanced auction formats such as multi-attribute and combinatorial auctions will follow.

Automatic negotiations in electronic markets






Basic concepts

G. Zlotkin, J. S. Rosenschein, Mechanism design for automated negotiation, and its application to task oriented domain, Artificial Intelligence, 1996.

S. Kraus, Negotiation and cooperation in multi-agent systems, Artificial Intelligence, 1997.

Surveys on automated negotiations and classification schemes

H. Guttman, A. G. Moukas, P. Maes, Agent-mediated electronic commerce: a survey, The Knowledge Engineering Problem Review, 1998.

N. R. Jennings, P. Faratin, A. R. Lomuscio, S. Parsons, C. Sierra, M. Wooldridge, Automated negotiation: prospects, methods and challange, Group Decision and Negotiation, 2000.

M. He, N. R. Jennings, H.-F. Leung, On agent-mediated electronic commerce, IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, 2003.

A. R. Lomuscio, M. Wooldridge, N. R. Jennings, A classification scheme for negotiation in electronic commerce, AMEC, 2001.

  1. M.Bichler, G. Kersten, S. Strecker, Towards a structured design of electronic negotiations, Group Decision and Negotiations, 2003.

S. Paurobally, P. J. Turner, N. R. Jennings, Automating negotiation for m-services, IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, 2003.