Reaching agreements through argumentation: A logical model and implementation

Sarit Kraus, Katia Sycara, Amir Evenchik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

401 Scopus citations


In a multi-agent environment, where self-motivated agents try to pursue their own goals, cooperation cannot be taken for granted. Cooperation must be planned for and achieved through communication and negotiation. We present a logical model of the mental states of the agents based on a representation of their beliefs, desires, intentions, and goals. We present argumentation as an iterative process emerging from exchanges among agents to persuade each other and bring about a change in intentions. We look at argumentation as a mechanism for achieving cooperation and agreements. Using categories identified from human multi-agent negotiation, we demonstrate how the logic can be used to specify argument formulation and evaluation. We also illustrate how the developed logic can be used to describe different types of agents. Furthermore, we present a general Automated Negotiation Agent which we implemented, based on the logical model. Using this system, a user can analyze and explore different methods to negotiate and argue in a noncooperative environment where no centralized mechanism for coordination exists. The development of negotiating agents in the framework of the Automated Negotiation Agent is illustrated with an example where the agents plan, act, and resolve conflicts via negotiation in a Blocks World environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-69
Number of pages69
JournalArtificial Intelligence
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based upon work supported in part by NSF Grant No. IRI-9423967. NSF grant No. IRI 9724937. NSF Grant No. IRI-9612 13I , NSF Grant No. IRI-97 12607, ONR Grant No. N00014-96-I - 1722 and Army Research Lab under contract number DAALO197K013.5. We would like to thank Madhura Nirkhe for her contribution to the development of the formal model and to Ariel Stollman for the help in the implementation. * Corresponding author. Email: ’ Email: ’ Email:


  • Argumentation
  • Automated negotiation
  • BDI model


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