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A library for situated automated negotiations

Project description

A python library for managing autonomous negotiation agents in simulation environments. The name negmas stands for either NEGotiation MultiAgent System or NEGotiations Managed by Agent Simulations (your pick).

Introduction

This package was designed to help advance the state-of-art in negotiation research by providing an easy-to-use yet powerful platform for autonomous negotiation. It grew out of the NEC-AIST collaborative laboratory project.

The main purpose of this package is to provide the public interface to be used in the implementation of the negotiation platform. Because of that, no attempts were made to optimize the internal implementation of sample negotiators. Moreover, the package is trying to follow best-practice in Python library design but that does not constraint implementations if carried out in different languages from utilizing these languages’ best practices as well even by modifying the provided interface.

Main Features

This platform was designed with both flexability and scalability in mind. The key features of the negmas package are:

  1. The public API is decoupled from internal details allowing for scalable implementations of the same interaction protocols. Supports both bilateral and multilateral negotiations. Supports negotiators engaging in multiple concurrent negotiations. Provides support for inter-negotiation synchronization.
  1. The package provides multiple levels of abstraction in the specifications of the computaitonal blocks required for negotiation allowing for gradual exposition to the subject.
  1. There is always a single base class for every type of entity in the negotiation (e.g. Negotiator. Protocol, etc). Different options are implemented via Mixins increasing the flexibility of the system.

The package provides sample negotiators that can be used as templates for more complex negotiators. The package allows for both mediated and unmediated negotiations. Novel negotiation protocols can be added to the package as easily as adding novel negotiators. Allows for non-traditional negotiation scenarios including dynamic entry/exit from the negotiation. Has built-in support for experimenting with elicitation protocols for both single and multi-issue auctions.

What else is provided?

  • Name Resolution The package supports name resolution for finding partners using the YellowPages class.
  • Taking Initiative Any Negotiator (including Negotiator s) can create Protocol s and invite other Negotiator s to it. The Moderator negotiator need not be around.
  • Elicitation Utility elicitation is supported through the elicitors module and sample elicitors are available in the sample.elicitors module.

Basic Use cases

To use negmas in a project:

import negmas

The package was designed for many uses cases. On one extreme, it can be used by an end user who is interested in running one of the built-in negotiation protocols. On the other extreme, it can be used to develop novel kinds of negotiation negotiators and negotiation protocols. This section gives some examples of both kinds of usages. Please refer to the full documentation for more concrete examples.

Running existing negotiators/negotiation protocols

Using the package for negotiation can be as simple as the following code snippet:

from negmas import SAOMechanism, AspirationNegotiator, MappingUtilityFunction
neg = SAOMechanism(outcomes=10)
agents = [AspirationNegotiator() for _ in range(5)]
for agent in agents:
    neg.add(agent, ufun = MappingUtilityFunction(lambda x: rand() * x[0]))
neg.run()

Developing a negotiator

Developing a novel negotiator slightly more difficult by is still doable in few lines of code:

from negmas.negotiators import Negotiator
class MyAwsomeNegotiator(Negotiator, MultiNegotiationsMixin):
    def __init__(self):
        # initialize the parents
        Negotiator.__init__(self)
        MultiNegotiationsMixin.__init__(self)

    def respond(self, offer, negotiation = None):
        # decide what to do when receiving an offer @ that negotiation
        pass

    def propose(self, n=1, negotiation=None):
        # proposed the required number of proposals (or less) @ that negotiation
        pass

By just implementing respond() and propose(). This negotiator is now capable of engaging in multiple concurrent negotiations. It can access all the negotiations it is involved in using self.negotiations and can enter and leave negotiations (if allowed by the protocol) using enter() and leave(). See the documentation of Negotiator for a full description of available functionality out of the box.

Developing a negotiation protocol

Developing a novel negotiation protocol is actually even simpler:

from negmas.mechanisms import Mechanism

class MyNovelProtocol(Mechanism):
    def __init__(self, n_steps, n_outcomes):
        super().__init__(n_steps=n_steps, n_outcomes=n_outcomes)

    def step(self):
        # one step of the protocol
        pass

By implementing the single step() function, a new protocol is created. New negotiators can be added to the negotiation using add() and removed using remove(). See the documentation for a full description of Protocol available functionality out of the box.

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0.1.3

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