Towards flexible negotiation in teamwork


Z. Qiu, M. Tambe, and H. Jung. 1999. “Towards flexible negotiation in teamwork .” In Third International Conference on Autonomous Agents (Agents).


In a complex, dynamic multi-agent setting, coherent team actions are often jeopardized by agents' conflicting beliefs about different aspects of their environment, about resource availability, and about their own or teammates' capabilities and performance. Team members thus need to communicate and negotiate to restore team coherence. This paper focuses on the problem of negotiations in teamwork to resolve such conflicts. The basis of such negotiations is inter-agent argumentation based on Toulmin's argumentation pattern. There are several novel aspects in our approach. First, our approach to argumentation exploits recently developed general, explicit teamwork models, which make it possible to provide a generalized and reusable argumentation facility based on teamwork constraints. Second, an emphasis on collaboration in argumentation leads to novel argumentation strategies geared towards benefiting the team rather than the individual. Third, our goal, to realize argumentation in practice in an agent team, has led to decision theoretic and pruning techniques to reduce argumentation overhead. Our approach is implemented in a system called CONSA.
See also: 1999