Is It Worth Arguing?
Argumentation-based negotiation (ABN) is an effective means of resolving conflicts in a multi-agent society. However, it consumes both time and computational resources for agents to generate, select and evaluate arguments. Furthermore, in many cases, argumentation is not the only means of resolving conflicts. Thus, some could be avoided either by finding an alternative means (evading the conflict) or by modifying the intended course of action (re-planning). Therefore, it would be advantageous for agents to identify those situations and weigh the costs and the benefits of arguing before using it to resolve conflicts. To this end, we present a preliminary empirical analysis to evaluate the performance of a simple ABN system, with respect to other non-arguing approaches, in a particular task allocation scenario. In our experiments, we simulate a multi-agent community and allow the agents to use a combination of ABN, evasion and re-planning techniques to overcome conflicts that arise within the community. Analysing the observed results, we show that, in our domain, ABN presents an effective means of resolving conflicts when the resources are constrained. However, we also show it is a more costly and less effective means, compared to evasion and re-planning methods, when resources are more abundant.
KeywordsArgumentation-based Negotiation Conflict Resolution
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Agents’ Conflicts: New Issues. In: Tessier, C., Chaudron, L., Müller, H.J. (eds.) Conflicting Agents Conflict Management in Multi-Agent Systems, pp. 1–30. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (2000)Google Scholar
- 2.Castelfranchi, C.: Conflict Ontology. In: Computational Conflicts, Conflict Modeling for Distributed Intelligent Systems, pp. 21–40. Springer, Heidelberg (2000)Google Scholar
- 3.Walton, D.N., Krabbe, E.C.: Dialgoues: Types, Goals, and Shifts. In: Commitment in Dialogue: Basic Concepts of Interpersonal Reasoning, pp. 65–117. State Univ of New York Press, Albany (1995)Google Scholar
- 4.Rahwan, I., Ramchurn, S.D., Jennings, N.R., McBurney, P., Parsons, S., Sonenberg, L.: Argumentation-based negotiation. The Knowledge Engineering Review 18 (2004)Google Scholar
- 8.Rahwan, I., Sonenberg, L., Dignum, F.: Towards interest-based negotiation. In: Rosenschein, J.S., Sandholm, T., Wooldridge, M., Yokoo, M. (eds.) Proceedings of the 2nd International Joint Conference on Autonomas Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS 2003), Melbourne, Australia, pp. 773–780 (2003)Google Scholar
- 10.Ramchurn, S.D., Jennings, N.R., Sierra, C.: Persuasive negotiation for autonomous agents: A rhetorical approach. In: IJCAI Workshop on Computational Models of Natural Argument, Acapulco, Mexico, pp. 9–18 (2003)Google Scholar
- 11.Amgoud, L., Maudet, N.: Strategical considerations for argumentative agents (preliminary report). In: Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Non-Monotonic Reasoning (NMR 2002): Special session on Argument, dialogue, decision, Toulouse, France, pp. 399–407 (2002)Google Scholar
- 15.Yokoo, M., Hirayama, K.: Distributed constraint satisfaction algorithm for complex local problems. In: Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Multiagent Systems (ICMAS 1998), Paris, France, pp. 372–379 (1998)Google Scholar
- 16.Sandholm, T.W., Lesser, V.R.: Advantages of a leveled commitment contracting protocol. In: Proceedings of the Thirteenth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI 1996), Portland, OR, USA, pp. 126–133 (1996)Google Scholar