Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 June 2009
Negotiation in a multiagent system is a topic of active interest for enabling the allocation of scarce resources among autonomous agents. This paper presents a discussion of the research on negotiation criteria, which puts in context the contributions to resource allocation from the fields of economics, mathematics, and multiagent systems. We group the criteria based on how they relate to each other as well as their historical origin. In addition, we present three new criteria: verifiability, dimensionality, and topology. The criteria are organized into five categories. The allocation category contains criteria concerning fairness and envy-freeness with respect to how resources are allocated to agents. The protocol category covers criteria for stability, strategy-proofness, and communication costs. The procedure category includes criteria about the complexity of allocation procedures. The resource category has criteria for the properties that various resources can take and how they affect allocation. The paper concludes with a discussion of the criteria for agent utility functions. The overall objectives of this paper are (1) to create a starting point for protocol engineering by future negotiation designers and (2) to enumerate the criteria and their measures that enable negotiation and allocation mechanisms to be compared objectively.