Argumentation-based negotiation (ABN) is an effective means of resolving conflicts in a multi-agent society. However, it consumes both time and computational resources for agents to generate, select and evaluate arguments. Furthermore, in many cases, argumentation is not the only means of resolving conflicts. Thus, some could be avoided either by finding an alternative means (evading the conflict) or by modifying the intended course of action (re-planning). Therefore, it would be advantageous for agents to identify those situations and weigh the costs and the benefits of arguing before using it to resolve conflicts. To this end, we present a preliminary empirical analysis to evaluate the performance of a simple ABN system, with respect to other non-arguing approaches, in a particular task allocation scenario. In our experiments, we simulate a multi-agent community and allow the agents to use a combination of ABN, evasion and re-planning techniques to overcome conflicts that arise within the community. Analysing the observed results, we show that, in our domain, ABN presents an effective means of resolving conflicts when the resources are constrained. However, we also show it is a more costly and less effective means, compared to evasion and re-planning methods, when resources are more abundant.
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- Is It Worth Arguing?
Nishan C. Karunatillake
Nicholas R. Jennings
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg