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Negotiating Agents
Michael Shroeder, City University, London

Negotiation is central to agents engaging in e-commerce. In this lecture, I will review two approaches to negotiation: auctions and argumentation. Auctions allow agents to negotiate the price of a good. I will review different types of auctions and their characteristics. For more complex tasks than price negotiation, argumentation is useful. Based on a simplified example of a BT business process, where agents argue about provision of a quote, I will give an overview over a multi-agent argumentation framework and give a demonstration of the framework.

Michael Schroeder is a Lecturer in Computing in the Department of Computing of the School of Informatics at City University London. Michael teaches courses on Distributed Systems and Software Agents and carries out research in software agents covering topics such as logic-based agent-oriented programming, visualisation of agent systems, verification of distributed systems, applications in model-based diagnosis. Michael has published over 40 articles on these topics. He supervises three PhD students (Reinhold Kloos, Wenbin Hu, Penny Noy) and a visiting PostDoc researcher.

He manages an 5 month project on model-based diagnosis for the automotive industry funded by GenRad Ltd, a 15 month project on efficient diagnosis for manufacturing applications funded by EPSRC, a 3 years PhD project on visualisation of complex systems funded by EPSRC and British Telecom, and is City University's contact partner for the European Network of Excellence AgentLink.

Before joining City in June 1998, Michael worked for half a year as a Research Engineer at British Telecom Laboratories, Ipswich, UK. There he worked on agent-enhanced workflow and agent management. He co-authored a patent on Distributed System Visualisation and Monitoring using Software Agents.

Michael received his PhD from University of Hannover, Germany where he worked at Prof. Nejdl's Institute for Knowledge-based Systems. His thesis on Autonomous, Model-based Diagnosis Agents was co-supervised by Prof. Lipeck and Prof. Pereira of the New University of Lisbon. He carried out part of his PhD in Hannover supported by a grant of the Minna-James-Heinemann Stiftung and part in Lisbon supported by the Portuguese JNICT and the German DAAD.

In early 1995, Michael received his Master's degree in Computer Science from Technical University RWTH Aachen, Germany. His MSc thesis on modelling diagnosis problems and strategies using extended logic programming was supervised by Prof. Nejdl, Prof. Jarke and co-supervied by Prof. Pereira of the New University of Lisbon. From 1989 to 1991, Michael studied at Technical University Karlsruhe, Germany, and received his Vordiplom (similar to a BSc).

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