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Journal of Logic and Computation, Volume 8, Issue 3: June 1998.

Agents that reason and negotiate by arguing

S Parsons, C Sierra and N Jennings

Department of Electronic Engineering, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, London E1 4NS, UK, E-mail: {S.D.Parsons, C.A.Sierra, N.J.Jennings}@qmw.ac.uk

The need for negotiation in multi-agent systems stems from the requirement for agents to solve the problems posed by their interdependence upon one another. Negotiation provides a solution to these problems by giving the agents the means to resolve their conflicting objectives, correct inconsistencies in their knowledge of other agents' world views, and coordinate a joint approach to domain tasks which benefits all the agents concerned. We propose a framework, based upon a system of argumentation, which permits agents to negotiate in order to establish acceptable ways of solving problems. The framework provides a formal model of argumentation-based reasoning and negotiation, details a design philosophy which ensures a clear link between the formal model and its practical instantiation, and describes a case study of this relationship for a particular class of architectures (namely those for belief-desire-intention agents).

Keywords: Argumentation, negotiation, multi-context systems, multi-agent systems, BDI agents.

Pages 261-292


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