Addressing stability issues in mediated complex contract negotiations for constraint-based, non-monotonic utility spaces
Author(s)Klein, Mark; Ito, Takayuki; Lopez-Carmona, Miguel A.; Marsa Maestre, Ivan
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Negotiating contracts with multiple interdependent issues may yield non- monotonic, highly uncorrelated preference spaces for the participating agents. These scenarios are specially challenging because the complexity of the agents’ utility functions makes traditional negotiation mechanisms not applicable. There is a number of recent research lines addressing complex negotiations in uncorrelated utility spaces. However, most of them focus on overcoming the problems imposed by the complexity of the scenario, without analyzing the potential consequences of the strategic behavior of the negotiating agents in the models they propose. Analyzing the dynamics of the negotiation process when agents with different strategies interact is necessary to apply these models to real, competitive environments. Specially problematic are high price of anarchy situations, which imply that individual rationality drives the agents towards strategies which yield low individual and social welfares. In scenarios involving highly uncorrelated utility spaces, “low social welfare” usually means that the negotiations fail, and therefore high price of anarchy situations should be avoided in the negotiation mechanisms. In our previous work, we proposed an auction-based negotiation model designed for negotiations about complex contracts when highly uncorrelated, constraint-based utility spaces are involved. This paper performs a strategy analysis of this model, revealing that the approach raises stability concerns, leading to situations with a high (or even infinite) price of anarchy. In addition, a set of techniques to solve this problem are proposed, and an experimental evaluation is performed to validate the adequacy of the proposed approaches to improve the strategic stability of the negotiation process. Finally, incentive-compatibility of the model is studied.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Center for Collective Intelligence; Sloan School of Management
Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems
Lopez-Carmona, Miguel A. et al. “Addressing Stability Issues in Mediated Complex Contract Negotiations for Constraint-Based, Non-Monotonic Utility Spaces.” Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems 24.3 (2012): 485–535.
Author's final manuscript