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A Framework for Argumentation-Based Agent Negotiation in Uncertain Settings

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A Framework for Argumentation-Based Agent Negotiation in Uncertain Settings

Marey, Omar Ibrahim (2016) A Framework for Argumentation-Based Agent Negotiation in Uncertain Settings. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Automated negotiation technologies are being increasingly used in business applications, especially in the e-Commerce domain. Argumentation-Based Negotiation (ABN), among the existing approaches, has been distinguished as a powerful approach to automated negotiation due to its ability to provide more sophisticated information (arguments) that justifies and supports agents’ proposals in order to mutually influence their preference relations on the set of offers, and consequently on the negotiation outcome. During the recent years, argumentation-based negotiation has received a considerable attention in the area of agent communication. However, current proposals are mostly concerned with presenting protocols for showing how agents can interact with each other, and how arguments and offers can be generated, evaluated and exchanged under the assumption of certainty. Therefore, none of these proposals is directly targeting the agents’ uncertainty about the selection of their moves nor designing the appropriate negotiation strategies based on this uncertainty in order to help the negotiating agents better make their decisions in the negotiation settings where agents have limited or uncertain information, precluding them from making optimal individual decisions. In this thesis, we tackle the aforementioned problems by advocating an Argumentation-Based Agent Negotiation (ABAN) framework that is capable of handling the problem of agents’ uncertainty during the negotiation process.
We begin by proposing an argumentation framework enriched with a new element called agent’s uncertainty as an important parameter in the agent theory to allow negotiating agents to decide which moves to play and reason about the selection of these moves under the assumption of uncertainty. Then, a method for agents’ uncertainty assessment is presented. In particular, we use Shannon entropy to assess agent’s uncertainty about their moves at each dialogue step as well as for the whole dialogue. Negotiation strategies and agent profiles issues are also explored and a methodology for designing novel negotiation strategies and agent profiles under the assumption of uncertainty is developed. Moreover, two important outcome properties namely, completeness and Nash equilibrium are discussed. Finally, the applicability of our framework is explored through several scenarios of the well-known Buyer/Seller case study. The obtained empirical results confirm the effectiveness of using our uncertainty-aware techniques and demonstrate the usefulness of using such techniques in argumentation-based negotiations.

Divisions:Concordia University > Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science > Electrical and Computer Engineering
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Marey, Omar Ibrahim
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Electrical and Computer Engineering
Date:15 January 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Bentahar, Jamal and Dssouli, Rachida
ID Code:980822
Deposited By: Omar Ibrahim Marey
Deposited On:16 Jun 2016 15:46
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:52
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