Fatima, S.S., Wooldridge, M. and Jennings, N. R.
Approximate and online multi-issue negotiation.
In, 6th International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-agent Systems., Hawaii, USA,
This paper analyzes bilateral multi-issue negotiation between self interested autonomous agents. The agents have time constraints in the form of both deadlines and discount factors. There are m > 1 issues for negotiation where each issue is viewed as a pie of size one. The issues are “indivisible” (i.e., individual issues cannot be split between the parties; each issue must be allocated in its entirety to either agent). Here different agents value different issues differently. Thus, the problem is for the agents to decide how to allocate the issues between themselves so as to maximize their individual utilities. For such negotiations, we first obtain the equilibrium strategies for the case where the issues for negotiation are known a priori to the parties. Then, we analyse their time complexity and show that finding the equilibrium offers is an NP-hard problem, even in a complete information setting. In order to overcome this computational complexity, we then present negotiation strategies that are approximately optimal but computationally efficient, and show that they form an equilibrium. We also analyze the relative error (i.e., the difference between the true optimum and the approximate). The time complexity of the approximate equilibrium strategies is O(nm=2) where n is the negotiation deadline and the relative error. Finally, we extend the analysis to online negotiation where different issues become available at different time points and the agents are uncertain about their valuations for these issues. Specifically, we show that an approximate equilibrium exists for online negotiation and show that the expected difference between the optimum and the approximate is O(pm) . These approximate strategies also have polynomial time complexity.
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