, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 427-451

Negotiating on location, timing, duration, and participant in agent-mediated joint activity-travel scheduling

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Abstract

Agent-based simulation has become an important modeling approach in activity-travel analysis. Social activities account for a large amount of travel and have an important effect on activity-travel scheduling. Participants in joint activities usually have various options regarding location, participants, and timing and take different approaches to make their decisions. In this context, joint activity participation requires negotiation among agents involved, so that conflicts among the agents can be addressed. Existing mechanisms do not fully provide a solution when utility functions of agents are nonlinear and non-monotonic. Considering activity-travel scheduling in time and space as an application, we propose a novel negotiation approach, which takes into account these properties, such as continuous and discrete issues, and nonlinear and non-monotonic utility functions, by defining a concession strategy and a search mechanism. The results of experiments show that agents having these properties can negotiate efficiently. Furthermore, the negotiation procedure affects individuals’ choices of location, timing, duration, and participants.