, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 289-311

Negotiation and Defeasible Decision Making

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Abstract

In economically meaningful interactions negotiations are particularly important because they allow agents to improve their information about the environment and even to change accordingly their own characteristics. In each step of a negotiation an agent has to emit a message. This message conveys information about her preferences and endowments. Given that the information she uses to decide which message to emit comes from beliefs generated in previous stages of the negotiation, she has to cope with the uncertainty associated with them. The assessment of the states of the world also evolves during the negotiation. In this paper we analyze the intertwined dynamics of beliefs and decision, in order to determine conditions on the agents that allow them to reach agreements. The framework for decision making we consider here is based on defeasible evaluation of possibilities: an argument for a choice defeats another one if it is based on a computation that better uses all the available information.