Sequential Bilateral Negotiation

Orlando Pinho Jr.Geber RamalhoGustavo de PaulaPatricia Azevedo Tedesco

For some B2C or B2B market places, such as electronic shopping malls, agents representing the buyers could "go shopping" and negotiate with several stores looking for the best deal. To develop agents capable to act in a scenario like this one, it is necessary to deal with several issues that go beyond the bilateral negotiation or auction. In the agent mediated e-commerce literature, there are no in-depth studies on this kind of negotiation, which we call sequential bilateral negotiations (SBNs). The related works provide only superficial insights on multiple bilateral negotiations or are rather concerned with auction models. In this paper, we characterize SBNs, showing the differences between them and auctions or simple bilateral negotiations. We also discuss the main issues on defining a negotiation protocol and designing agents for SBN. In order to achieve a better understanding on SBN and its practical implications, we present a particular implementation of a SBN protocol and an ensemble of agents capable of carrying negotiations under this protocol. This implementation provides experimental results illustrating some nuances of this kind of negotiation model.

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