Automated Negotiation in Supply Chain Management (ANSCM)
IEEE ICA 2023
Date and Time: December 7th, 2023 (Time TBD)
Location: Clock Tower Centennial Hall, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
Duration: 3h 30min (+ 30min breaks)
Handouts: You can download the handouts of the whole tutorial here. See the bottom of this page for other related materials.
Notebooks: To do the hands-on parts of the tutorial, you can either use the binder notebooks available here or install negmas, scml, and jupyter (see the end of the page).
Automated negotiation between intelligent agents is attracting more attention from the research community especially with the wider market penetration of intelligent agents and the need to coordinate their behavior.
The International Automated Negotiating Agents Competition (ANAC) provided stimulation for this research since its introduction in 2010. Since 2019, a new league was added to ANAC focusing on application of automated negotiation in a realistic business-like Supply Chain Management scenario (SCML). This tutorial will introduce the audience to SCML and walk them through the development of an agent for the competition highlighting the research challenges.
The main goal of the SCM league is to bring automated negotiation research more toward the real world by putting negotiation into a larger context from which endogenous utility functions are created instead of being predefined. This game provides amble opportunities for novel ideas in concurrent negotiation, utility function design, and applying machine learning techniques to automated negotiation.
Who should Attend?
The target audience are postgraduate students and researchers in the fields of multi-agent systems, game theory, simulation, and practical applications of MAS.
The tutorial will introduce the concepts it needs and is a beginner-level tutorial so the prerequisites are minimal. Knowledge of basic game-theoretic concepts are advantageous but not required.
We try to cover both theoretical foundations and practical development issues.
The tutorial will alternate between theoretical and hands-on treatments of automated negotiations.
It is divided into four parts.
- The first part motivates and introduces the negotiation problem and its history, detailing some of the classic game-theoretic results in bargaining.
- The second part presents recent advances and cutting-edge challenges in the field.
- The third part presents a case study focused on automated negotiations in supply chain management, which is one of the more popular ANAC leagues.
- The final part discusses open challenges in the field
- Theoretical Session (55min)
- This part of the tutorial introduces Automated Negotiation, the ANAC competition and the SCML describing the canonical structure of agent decomposition for the competition
- The negotiation problem (20min)
- Different definitions of the negotiation problem, negotiation protocol, main differences between negotiations and auctions.
- ANAC (5min)
- A short history of the ANAC competition.
- SCM World (10min)
- Introduces the game design for SCML.
- Why SCML (5min)
- Provides the rationale behind the SCML design and why this is an interesting domain for advancing research in multi-agent systems, RL and MARL systems.
- Anatomy of an Agent (15min)
- Introduces the three different approaches for thinking about SCML agents (monolithic agents, component-based agents, and RL agents).
- break (5min)
- Development Environment (25min)
- A hands-on installation and configuration tutorial
- Installing SCML (5min)
- Goes through the process of installation and configuration for the SCML package with the underlying NegMAS platform and the repository of SCML agents.
- Running a Simulation (5min)
- Goes through the process of running a single simulation and understanding log files.
- Running tournaments (5min)
- Introduces tournaments and their parameters as well as methods ensure that comparisons are fair when running tournaments.
- Breathing time (10min)
- Extra time for handling installation issues
- break (5min)
- Development Example (80min)
- This final part of the tutorial aims at giving the participants confidence that they could grasp the general structure of an SCML agent and that they can develop an agent for the competition and/or participate in related research in the future. We propose two alternatives here. Depending on the readiness of the participants will either do a hands-on hackathon or a study of existing strategies for the league.
- Examples of Agent Strategies (30min)
- This part of the tutorial will walk the participants through the strategies used by some of the finalists in SCML2020 highlighting the different ways for improving upon the builtin agents.
- An RL based trading strategy (20min)
- Training and testing a strategy that uses RL to control an SCML agent.
- Hands-on hackathon (30min)
- Participants will be given 30min to develop their own agent focusing on modifying a single component of the newly developed agent. The main goal of this step is not to come up with a strong agent but to make sure that the participant have understood the structure of the agent and build confidence in her/his ability to develop a real agent for future competitions.
- Conclusions (10min)
- The tutorial will be wrapped-up by a summary of the information introduced in the first session about automatic negotiation and will provide interesting directions of research inviting the audience to actively participating in pushing forward this exciting domain.