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A MAS-based infrastructure for negotiation and its application to a water-right market


This paper presents a MAS-based infrastructure for the specification of a negotiation framework that handles multiple negotiation protocols in a coherent and flexible way. Although it may be used to implement one single type of agreement mechanism, it has been designed in such a way that multiple mechanisms may be available at any given time, to be activated and tailored on demand (on-line) by participating agents. The framework is also generic enough so that new protocols may be easily added. This infrastructure has been successfully used in a case study to implement a simulation tool as a component of a larger framework based on an electronic market of water rights.

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    Apache Qpid:

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    At a glance, each interaction/conversation represents an atomic process and/or dialog among agents; a workflow represents complex interaction models and procedural prescriptions. The dynamic execution is modeled through arcs and transitions, by which the different participating roles of the organization may navigate.

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    It is important to point out that the simulation we have developed is a mixed-initiative simulation in which there are software agents that are completely autonomous/automated and other software agents that are simple interfaces for human users. In this way, it is very easy to include complex social behavior that are hard to implement or highly time consuming.

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    We are currently interested in checking the viability of our approach, rather than in providing a huge range of protocols. Consequently, it only implements the Japanese auction protocol. The implementation of other auction and negotiation protocols is part of our future work.

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    In our current implementation, these additional decision points rely on a random basis, but we want to extend them to include other issues such as short-term planning, trust, argumentation and ethical values.

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This paper was partially funded by the Consolider AT project CSD2007-0022 INGENIO 2010 of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation; the MICINN projects TIN2011-27652-C03-01 and TIN2009-13839-C03-01; and the Valencian Prometeo project 2008/051.

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Correspondence to Bexy Alfonso.

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Alfonso, B., Botti, V., Garrido, A. et al. A MAS-based infrastructure for negotiation and its application to a water-right market. Inf Syst Front 16, 183–199 (2014).

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  • Negotiation model
  • MAS infrastructure
  • Agents
  • Interactions