Constraint-based decision makers in negotiation processes
Jean-Marc Andreoli, Stefania Castellani
Computer supported negotiation processes are recurrent in may applications, typically to coordinate a set of
autonomous decision-makers in order to allow them to reach consensus on negotiated issues. In previous
papers, we have presented Xplore, a generic model and tool for the design of such coordination, based on an
explicit representation of negotiation decisions, possibly with multiple alternatives, and dependencies between
them. Xplore capture only the most generic features of negotiation processes and subsumes a wide range of
existing negotiation protocols and schemes. In this paper, we show how to build an interesting class of
components capable of taking part in Xplore coordinated negotiations. Decision makers of that class are
entirely automatic, and their role is to ensure that constraints, normally set by the coordinator of a
negotiation, are respected throughout the execution of the negotiation process. We show how to derive such
components from arbitrary constraint solvers working by propagation on finite domains, a class of solvers
which has been widely investigated in the literature and is nowadays available in many commercial products.
The 2004 IFIP International Conference on Decision Support Systems (DSS 2004), Prato, Tuscany, Italy,
1-3 July 2004.