Dr. T. (Tim) Baarslag

Buys Ballotgebouw
Princetonplein 5
Kamer 522
3584 CC Utrecht

Dr. T. (Tim) Baarslag

Universitair hoofddocent
Intelligent Systems

What is automated negotiation?

Automated negotiation is a negotiation in which one of the actors is a computer. More precisely, negotiation is the process by which a group of actors (including at least one autonomous software agent) try to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

What is negotiation?

Negotiation is the process of joint decision making. There are many alternative definitions, but this one neatly captures the emphasis on how to get to an agreement. Rather than describing what actions to perform, negotiation focuses on concessions, interlocution, and committments in order to influence the decisions of all actors involved.

What are the benefits of automated negotiation?

Automated negotiation research is fueled by a number of potential benefits, including better (win-win) deals, and reduction in time, costs, stress and cognitive effort on the part of users.

How can automated negotiation be used?

Negotiation arises in almost every social and organizational setting, yet many avoid it out of fear or lack of skill and this contributes to income inequality, political gridlock and social injustice. This has led to an increasing focus on the design of autonomous negotiators capable of automatically and independently negotiating with others. Computers that negotiate autonomously are rapidly emerging in a number of upcoming applications:

  • The smart electrical grid; where energy collectives trade complex energy contracts;
  • The Internet of Things; where billions of devices negotiate the usage of privacy-sensitive data;
  • Digital marketplaces; where goods are traded on platforms such as eBay, Funda, and Catawiki, or even on the fully decentralized world wide web of Blockstack;
  • Autonomous driving; where autonomous vehicles negotiate priority rules and exchange micro-tolling payments.