Time-Bounded Negotiation Framework for Multi-Agent Coordination

Lee, K. J. Chang, Y. S., Time-Bounded Negotiation Framework for Multi-Agent Coordination, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 1599, pp. 61-75, 1999.pdf


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.