Can Negotiation Breakdown Probabilities of Laissez-Faire Agents Be Derived A Priori?

Ronald P. Loui

UWashington Univ. at St-Louis

ABSTRACT: We present a different AI model of negotiation where agents are driven by dynamic expectations (there is no solution concept and there is no recursive modeling of beliefs). We require two assumptions to paint a new picture: (1) there is an empirically observable objective probability of breakdown that is monotonic (at some granularity) in elapsed time since last progress; (2) there is a nonstandard utility attached to the act of unilateral breakdown: a process utility that models the satisfaction of breaking down on a non-cooperative negotiating partner. This is a procedural fairness adjustment, not the substantive distributive fairness effect that has been trendy in the economics literature. We observe the variety of behaviors that can be generated by agents constructing action according to such Pessimism-Punishment (PP) negotiation models. We define a laissez-faire path for two PP agents starting in a given position and the proper calibration of their breakdown probabilities conditioned only on position. Finally, we discuss what iterative process could be used to reduce a priori miscalibration of breakdown probabilities.

Ronald Loui (b. Honolulu, 1961) is an active American scholar and engineer

working at the interface of artificial intelligence and philosophy.  In

his work he uses computation to propose new models for logic, decision,

and games.  He is primarily an innovator, mathematical modeler,

polemicist, and consummate gawk programmer.  He is best known on the

internet as the first person to write in detail about the superiority of

scripting languages ("Why GAWK for AI?", ACM SIGPLAN, 1995).  His doctoral

dissertation (Rochester, 1987) is regarded as the first attempt at a

Mathematics of Argument.

Ronald Loui's undergraduate dissertation (Harvard, 1982), on Optimal

Stochastic Paths, won the ACM Forsythe Award and continues to have impact

on communications and robotics.  He is currently working on a significant

national security project with collaborators in computer networking and

datamining and is co-patentor of a content-based internet firewall.

Ronald P. Loui is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and

Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, where he started after

a year as a Sloan Cognitive Science Fellow (Stanford, 1988).

Deepak Ramachandran
Last modified: Fri Aug 8 11:38:17 CST 2006