Bottom-up approaches to achieve Pareto optimal agreements in group decision making

  • Victor Sanchez-AnguixEmail author
  • Reyhan Aydoğan
  • Tim Baarslag
  • Catholijn Jonker
Regular Paper


In this article, we introduce a new paradigm to achieve Pareto optimality in group decision-making processes: bottom-up approaches to Pareto optimality. It is based on the idea that, while resolving a conflict in a group, individuals may trust some members more than others; thus, they may be willing to cooperate and share more information with those members. Therefore, one can divide the group into subgroups where more cooperative mechanisms can be formed to reach Pareto optimal outcomes. This is the first work that studies such use of a bottom-up approach to achieve Pareto optimality in conflict resolution in groups. First, we prove that an outcome that is Pareto optimal for subgroups is also Pareto optimal for the group as a whole. Then, we empirically analyze the appropriate conditions and achievable performance when applying bottom-up approaches under a wide variety of scenarios based on real-life datasets. The results show that bottom-up approaches are a viable mechanism to achieve Pareto optimality with applications to group decision-making, negotiation teams, and decision making in open environments.


Agreement technologies Automated negotiation Pareto optimality Group decision making Multi-agent systems 



This work is part of the Veni research programme with project number 639.021.751, which is financed by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and is supported by ITEA M2MGrids Project, Grant Number ITEA141011. We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their useful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Florida UniversitariaCatarrojaSpain
  2. 2.Universidad Isabel IBurgosSpain
  3. 3.Coventry UniversityCoventryUnited Kingdom
  4. 4.Department of Computer ScienceOzyegin UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  5. 5.Department of Intelligent SystemsDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  6. 6.Centrum Wiskunde & InformaticaAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  7. 7.Department of Information and Computing SciencesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  8. 8.Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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