Time-Bounded Negotiation Framework for Multi-Agent Coordination

  • Kyoung Jun Lee
  • Yong Sik Chang
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1599)


For the efficient and informative coordination of multiple agents, a time-bounded agent negotiation framework is proposed utilizing time-based commitment scheme. By attaching the commitment duration to agent messages, the traditional Contract Net Protocol is extended to a time-bounded environment, thereby giving rise to a Time-Bounded Negotiation Framework (TBNF). The proposed negotiation framework has a new message type to agree upon the extension of a commitment duration, and a novel commitment concept in the form of Negative Commitment. We interpret the semantics of the messages with the commitment duration, and then formally define and compare the three typical negotiation protocols - nothing-guaranteed protocol, acceptance-guaranteed protocol, and finite-time guarantee protocol - which can be incorporated into TBNF. The Time-Bounded Negotiation Framework should provide a background for efficient and effective agent coordination while accommodating each agent’s adaptive negotiation strategy.


Multiagent System Message Type Contract Process Commitment Duration Distribute Problem Solver 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Boddy, M., Dean, T.: Solving Time-Dependent Planning Problems, Proceedings of the Eleventh International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (1989) 979–984Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Collins, J., Jamison, S., Gini, M., and Mobasher, B.: Temporal Strategies in a Multi-Agent Contracting Protocol, Proceedings of AAAI-97 Workshop on Using AI in Electronic Commerce, Virtual Organizations, Enterprise Knowledge Management to Reengineer the Corporation (1997) 50–56Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Davis, R., Smith, R.: Negotiation as a metaphor for distributed problem solving. Artificial Intelligence 20(1) (1983) 63–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Decker, K.: Environment Centered Analysis & Design of Coordination Mechanisms, Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Department of Computer Science (1995)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Fisher, K., Muller, J., Pischel, M., Schier, D.: A Model for Cooperative Transportation Scheduling, Proceedings of the First International Conference on Multi-Agent Systems (1995) 109–116Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gu, C., Ishida, T.: Analyzing the Social Behavior of Contract Net Protocol, Agents Breaking Away; MAAMAW’96, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, Vol. 1038. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg New York (1996) 116–127Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Jennings, N.: Commitments and Conventions: The Foundation of Coordination in Multi-Agent Systems, Knowledge Engineering Review 8(3) (1993) 223–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lin, G., Solberg, J.: Integrated Shop Floor Control Using Autonomous Agents, HE Transactions 24(3) (1992) 57–71Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Malone, T., Fikes, R., Grant, K., Howard, M.: Enterprise: A Market-like Task Scheduler for Distributed Computing Environments, The Ecology of Computation, North-Holland (1988) 177–205Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sandholm, T., Lesser, V.: Issues in Automated Negotiation and Electronic Commerce: Extending the Contract Net Framework, Proceedings of the First International Conference on Multi-Agent Systems (1995) 328–335Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sandholm, T.: Unenforced E-Commerce Transactions, IEEE Internet Computing, (1997 Nov/Dec) 47–54Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sen, S., Durfee, E.: The Role of Commitment in Cooperative Negotiation, International Journal of Intelligent and Cooperative Information Systems 3(1) (1994) 67–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Shaw, M., Whinston, A.: Task Bidding and Distributed Planning in Flexible Manufacturing, Proceedings of the Second IEEE Conference on Artificial Intelligence Applications, Miami (1985) 184–189Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Smith, R.: The contract net protocol: High-level communication and control in a distributed problem solver, IEEE Transactions on Computer 29 (1980) 1104–1113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Takuya, O., Kazuo, H., Yuichiro, A.: Reducing Communication Load on Contract Net by Case-Based Reasoning — Extension with Directed Contract and Forgetting —, Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Multi-Agent Systems (1996) 244–251Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Van Dyke Parunak, H.: Manufacturing experience with the contract net. In Proceedings of the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Workshop (1985) 67–91Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Vojdani, N.: Distributed Manufacturing Control Using Fuzzy Contract Net. In: Jamshidi, M., Zadeh, L. (eds.): Applications of Fuzzy Logic, Prentice Hall Canada (1997)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyoung Jun Lee
    • 1
  • Yong Sik Chang
    • 2
  1. 1.School of BusinessKorea UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.Graduate School of ManagementKorea Advanced Institute of Science and TechnologySeoulKorea

Personalised recommendations