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Evaluating practical negotiating agents: results and analysis of the 2011 international competition

Evaluating practical negotiating agents: results and analysis of the 2011 international competition
Evaluating practical negotiating agents: results and analysis of the 2011 international competition
This paper presents an in-depth analysis and key insights gained from the Second International Automated Negotiating Agents Competition (ANAC 2011). ANAC is an international competition that challenges researchers to develop successful automated negotiation agents for scenarios where there is no information about the strategies and preferences of the opponents. The key objectives of this competition are to advance the state-of-the-art in the area of practical bilateral multi-issue negotiations, and to encourage the design of agents that are able to operate effectively across a variety of scenarios. Eighteen teams from seven different institutes competed. This paper describes these agents, the set-up of the tournament, including the negotiation scenarios used, and the results of both the qualifying and final rounds of the tournament. We then go on to analyse the different strategies and techniques employed by the participants using two methods: (i) we classify the agents with respect to their concession behaviour against a set of standard benchmark strategies (ii) we employ empirical game theory (EGT) to investigate the robustness of the strategies. Our analysis of the competition results allows us to highlight several interesting insights for the broader automated negotiation community. In particular, we show that the most adaptive negotiation strategies, while robust across different opponents, were not necessarily the ones to win the competition. Furthermore, our EGT analysis highlights the importance of considering other metrics, besides utility maximisation, in determining what makes a successful and robust negotiation agent in practical settings.
automated negotiation, bilateral negotiation, AI competitions, multi-agent systems, intelligent agents
73-103
Baarslag, Tim
a7c541d8-8141-467b-a08c-7a81cd69920e
Fujita, Katsuhide
f47cec4b-329c-4af0-b223-d7fd1a9a5ff6
Gerding, Enrico H.
d9e92ee5-1a8c-4467-a689-8363e7743362
Hindriks, Koen
37537aff-8c5e-420e-b424-1cb0c26aa7d7
Ito, Takayuki
60235c85-14ee-4191-a711-a3f8a2a49bf6
Jennings, Nicholas R.
ab3d94cc-247c-4545-9d1e-65873d6cdb30
Jonker, Catholijn
492a7c03-c206-4fad-9a9c-a156a96c4245
Kraus, Sarit
2fc42767-f018-454e-b76c-bcbc86d48bfa
Lin, Raz
f026cde8-381d-4f30-b4ab-da4c7465dc3c
Robu, Valentin
36b30550-208e-48d4-8f0e-8ff6976cf566
Williams, Colin R.
6c9b507f-f9d0-4a61-84d4-01a2b311e1e6
Baarslag, Tim
a7c541d8-8141-467b-a08c-7a81cd69920e
Fujita, Katsuhide
f47cec4b-329c-4af0-b223-d7fd1a9a5ff6
Gerding, Enrico H.
d9e92ee5-1a8c-4467-a689-8363e7743362
Hindriks, Koen
37537aff-8c5e-420e-b424-1cb0c26aa7d7
Ito, Takayuki
60235c85-14ee-4191-a711-a3f8a2a49bf6
Jennings, Nicholas R.
ab3d94cc-247c-4545-9d1e-65873d6cdb30
Jonker, Catholijn
492a7c03-c206-4fad-9a9c-a156a96c4245
Kraus, Sarit
2fc42767-f018-454e-b76c-bcbc86d48bfa
Lin, Raz
f026cde8-381d-4f30-b4ab-da4c7465dc3c
Robu, Valentin
36b30550-208e-48d4-8f0e-8ff6976cf566
Williams, Colin R.
6c9b507f-f9d0-4a61-84d4-01a2b311e1e6

Baarslag, Tim, Fujita, Katsuhide, Gerding, Enrico H., Hindriks, Koen, Ito, Takayuki, Jennings, Nicholas R., Jonker, Catholijn, Kraus, Sarit, Lin, Raz, Robu, Valentin and Williams, Colin R. (2013) Evaluating practical negotiating agents: results and analysis of the 2011 international competition. Artificial Intelligence, 198, 73-103. (doi:10.1016/j.artint.2012.09.004).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper presents an in-depth analysis and key insights gained from the Second International Automated Negotiating Agents Competition (ANAC 2011). ANAC is an international competition that challenges researchers to develop successful automated negotiation agents for scenarios where there is no information about the strategies and preferences of the opponents. The key objectives of this competition are to advance the state-of-the-art in the area of practical bilateral multi-issue negotiations, and to encourage the design of agents that are able to operate effectively across a variety of scenarios. Eighteen teams from seven different institutes competed. This paper describes these agents, the set-up of the tournament, including the negotiation scenarios used, and the results of both the qualifying and final rounds of the tournament. We then go on to analyse the different strategies and techniques employed by the participants using two methods: (i) we classify the agents with respect to their concession behaviour against a set of standard benchmark strategies (ii) we employ empirical game theory (EGT) to investigate the robustness of the strategies. Our analysis of the competition results allows us to highlight several interesting insights for the broader automated negotiation community. In particular, we show that the most adaptive negotiation strategies, while robust across different opponents, were not necessarily the ones to win the competition. Furthermore, our EGT analysis highlights the importance of considering other metrics, besides utility maximisation, in determining what makes a successful and robust negotiation agent in practical settings.

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More information

Submitted date: 29 November 2011
e-pub ahead of print date: 24 September 2012
Published date: May 2013
Keywords: automated negotiation, bilateral negotiation, AI competitions, multi-agent systems, intelligent agents
Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 273036
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/273036
PURE UUID: d8b2e881-240d-436a-b62f-5b700f05f10c
ORCID for Tim Baarslag: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1662-3910

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 29 Nov 2011 23:14
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:22

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