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Prototype 2: Resource negotiation
The second prototype extends the negotiation framework to handle the
problem of limited resources offered by the service provider.
We extend the previous prototype in order to take into account that the
computer booking service manages scarce resources. In fact, after a success-
ful negotiation there is a computer reservation, which means that the
reserved computer is no longer available for other students and thus cannot
be considered during subsequent negotiation processes.
Let's consider an example of negotiation. The last proposal formulated by
the provider's agent is (time: 10
11, CPU: 1 GHz), the attribute with the
highest gap is time, so the negotiator would decrease the value of that
attribute proposing (time: 11
12, CPU: 1 GHz). It is possible that there are
no more 1 GHz PCs available in the time range 11
12, but plenty of other
types; in this case the agent would be formulating a proposal that cannot be
supported by the service provider.
This case cannot be handled simply omitting the time range 11
12 from
the admissible values because that value is perfectly admissible for another
type of PC. This means that constraints on possible values of the attributes
become more complex than a simple list of available values for each
attribute. There are constraints that involve several attributes.
The main issues we have to address are:
resources are limited and each successful negotiation modifies the avail-
ability of resources;
the preferences of the service provider depend on the availability of
after each negotiation the provider's preferences must be computed again
based on the new resource condition.
A further problem could arise if multiple negotiations are carried on at the
same time. For simplicity we assume that only one negotiation takes place at
a time, the requests from the clients are serialized.
This prototype must integrate the management of limited resources into the
negotiation framework addressing the specific issues raised by this new topic.
Decision point
How do we integrate limited resource management into the negotiation
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