This paper describes the design and implementation of a replicable, Internet-based negotiation server for conducting bargaining-type negotiations between enterprises involved in e-commerce and e-business. Enterprises can be buyers and sellers of products/services or participants of a complex supply chain engaged in purchasing, planning, and scheduling. Multiple copies of our server can be installed to complement the services of Web servers. Each enterprise can install or select a trusted negotiation server to represent his/her interests. Web-based GUI tools are used during the build-time registration process to specify the requirements, constraints, and rules that represent negotiation policies and strategies, preference scoring of different data conditions, and aggregation methods for deriving a global cost-benefit score for the item(s) under negotiation. The registration information is used by the negotiation servers to automatically conduct bargaining type negotiations on behalf of their clients. In this paper, we present the architecture of our implementation as well as a framework for automated negotiations, and describe a number of communication primitives which are used in the underlying negotiation protocol. A constraint satisfaction processor (CSP) is used to evaluate a negotiation proposal or counterproposal against the registered requirements and constraints of a client company. In case of a constraint violation, an event is posted to trigger the execution of negotiation strategic rules, which either automatically relax the violated constraint, ask for human intervention, invoke an application, or perform other remedial operations. An Event-Trigger-Rule (ETR) server is used to manage events, triggers, and rules. Negotiation strategic rules can be added or modified at run-time. A cost-benefit analysis component is used to perform quantitative analysis of alternatives. The use of negotiation servers to conduct automated negotiation has been demonstrated in the context of an integrated supply chain scenario.
The VLDB Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 2001
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