The negotiation takes place by exchanging proposals and counter-
proposals. The mediator asks one of the parties for an initial proposal and
then asks the other party to evaluate it and to produce a counter-proposal.
The negotiation terminates either when a proposal and the corresponding
counter-proposal agree, a given number of iterations have been completed,
or the value associated with a proposal descends below a given threshold for
one of the negotiators.
Not all the attributes defined in the problem specification are of interest
for both parties, therefore the negotiation concerns only the intersection of
the relevant attributes for the parties.
The parties must be able to specify some preferences and have their
agents use them to carry on the negotiation on their behalf. Preferences are
given for each relevant attribute. They are expressed in terms of the weight
of each attribute and of a rank for the possible values. The possible values
ranked in a preference are a subset of the possible values for the attribute
defined in the problem specification.
The design of the negotiation framework must address three main issues: the
problem description, the representation of the information used during the
negotiation and the negotiation process.
How do we describe the problem?
The problem description is well defined by the existing domain models.
The classes used to describe the problems are shown in Figure 20.3. Class
Specification is a collection of attributes. The attributes are represented by
Figure 20.3 Problem description