The Knowledge Engineering Review

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Argumentation-based negotiation

a1 Department of Information System, University of Melbourne, Parkville 3010, Australia. E-mail:,
a2 School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK. E-mail:,
a3 Department of Computer Science, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZF, UK. E-mail:
a4 Department of Computer and Information Science, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY 11210, USA. E-mail:

Article author query
rahwan i   [Google Scholar] 
ramchurn sd   [Google Scholar] 
jennings nr   [Google Scholar] 
mcburney p   [Google Scholar] 
parsons s   [Google Scholar] 
sonenberg l   [Google Scholar] 


Negotiation is essential in settings where autonomous agents have conflicting interests and a desire to cooperate. For this reason, mechanisms in which agents exchange potential agreements according to various rules of interaction have become very popular in recent years as evident, for example, in the auction and mechanism design community. However, a growing body of research is now emerging which points out limitations in such mechanisms and advocates the idea that agents can increase the likelihood and quality of an agreement by exchanging arguments which influence each others' states. This community further argues that argument exchange is sometimes essential when various assumptions about agent rationality cannot be satisfied. To this end, in this article, we identify the main research motivations and ambitions behind work in the field. We then provide a conceptual framework through which we outline the core elements and features required by agents engaged in argumentation-based negotiation, as well as the environment that hosts these agents. For each of these elements, we survey and evaluate existing proposed techniques in the literature and highlight the major challenges that need to be addressed if argument-based negotiation research is to reach its full potential.