PRIMA 2019 Automated Negotiations Tutorial


Date and Time: October 29th    11:30AM to 1:00 PM

Location: Sala Principi d'Acaja (Prima Website)

Why Attend It?

Automated negotiation between intelligent agents is an important research field in MAS. It is going to become even more important with the wider spread of intelligent agents. It provides both a challenging problem in the principles of multi-agent systems and a potential field of practical applications of multi-agent systems. Both of these are of great interest to PRIMA audience. Last year, one of the three workshops accepted for PRIMA 2018 was about automated negotiations (PRIANAC) exemplifying the growing interest in this area.

If you are interested in learning about the foundations of automated negotiation and get a glimpse of currently hot research topics in the area, you should consider joining us.

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 like Pareto-optimality, the concept of an equilibrium, and basics of auction theory are advantageous but not required.

We try to cover both theoretical foundations and practical development issues.


The tutorial will consist of two main parts with a 10-min break.

Theoretical Session (45 min) This part of the tutorial introduces the field of automated negotiation providing both
classical results and recent advances:

  • The negotiation problem Different definitions of the negotiation problem, negotiation protocol, main
    differences between negotiations and auctions.
  • Utiltity Functions Gives a well-established taxonomy of utility functions for single issue and multi-issue
    negotiations as well as the different types of relationships between the negotiators' utility functions.
  • Classical results Introduces the game-theoretic analysis of negotiations and provides some of the classical
    results including the prefect equilibrium result of Rubinstein.
  • Negotiation Analysis Introduces the main concepts for analyzing negotiation scenarios including the
    Pareto-front, welfare, fairness, the Nash-point.
  • Negotiation Protocols Introduces the most widely used mediated and unmediated negotiation protocols
    with a focus on the stacked alternating offers protocol.
  • Negotiation Strategies Provides the basic structure of a negotiating agent and the simplest strategies
    (they are in the same time the most widely used). These include time-based aspiration based strategies,
    tit-for-tat and nice tit-for-tat.
  • Challenges for Automatic Negotiation Describes the major challenges facing real-world negotiation
    agents that provide fruitful directions of research:

    • Utility Elicitation During Negotiation De scribes the problem of negotiation under uncertainty
      and provides the motivation for research in utility elicitation during negotiation. Three well-established
      main approaches to utility elicitation during negotiation will also be discussed. All of these methods were
      proposed in the past 3 years.
    • Situated and Simultaneous Negotiations This part of the tutorial deals with an open area
      of research in automated negotiation and is less results-focused than the rest of the tutorial. We will
      introduce the concept of situated and simultaneous negotiations and provide some of the early results
      (negotiation with outside options, 2006).

Break (10 min)

Demo Session (30 min) This part of the tutorial will provide a hands-on demo of using two negotiation platforms for
tackling the problems introduced in the theoretical session.

  • Classical Negotiation Platform (Genius) Describes the de-facto standard platform for negotiation research since 2010. The main structure and design objective of Genius are introduced and a demo
    negotiation session between two of the previously described strategies (time-based aspiration and tit-for-tat)
    will be conducted using the Genius GUI and the resulting negotiation session will be analyzed using the tools
    provided by Genius in light of the earlier discussion of negotiation analysis.
  • Situated Negotiations Platform (NegMAS) Shows the design and use-cases of the younger NegMAS
    platform including its tools for utility elicitation and simultaneous negotiations. An interactive python demo
    will be used to highlight the most important aspects of the platform.

Conclusions (5 min) 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.


The de-facto standard negotiation platform. Used for ANAC competitions since 2010.


A new platform designed to support context-aware automated negotiations.

Slides (pdf)

You can find Slides here.

Use a pdf reader to view them.

Notebook (Jupiter)

The notebook accompanying the tutorial can be found here.