Negotiation over the allocation of resources is widely regarded as one of the central research issues in the multiagent systems community. The AgentLink Technical Forum Group on Multiagent Resource Allocation (TFG-MARA) aims at providing a venue for the exchange of ideas in this area and puts special emphasis on the knowledge transfer between microeconomics and social choice theory on the one hand and computer science and AI on the other.
The 1st TFG-MARA Meeting took place as part of the 2nd AgentLink Technical Forum in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in February/March 2005. The 2nd TFG-MARA Meeting was held as part of the 3rd AgentLink Technical Forum in Budapest, Hungary in September 2005. Following the first meeting, the group has produced an extensive survey on Multiagent Resource Allocation. Additional information is available in the final report on the TFG-MARA activities in 2005. Tutorials based on the activities of the group have been given at three international events:
In recent years the tradition of the MARA Technical Forum Group has been continued in the form of the European MARA Get-Together's, a series of small informal workshops on Multiagent Resource Allocation:
Please direct any questions or comments to Ulle Endriss (firstname.lastname@example.org).
At the level of individual agents, TFG-MARA will address the compact representation of preferences, building on both classical decision theory and recent advances in logic-based representation formalisms. At the system level, the overall performance of a multiagent system for resource allocation can be measured in terms of various notions of social welfare as studied in welfare economics. Here we are particularly interested in "non-standard" notions of social welfare, including those imposing different fairness constraints on allocations.
Another focus of TFG-MARA will be the complexity of multiagent resource allocation problems. This includes the computational complexity of relevant decision and optimisation problems, as well as issues in communication complexity (length of negotiation processes, amount of information exchanged between agents).
The scope of this TFG includes both (combinatorial) auction-based resource allocation mechanisms and less stringent forms of negotiation and it will address the respective merits and drawbacks of different negotiation topologies (one-to-one, auctions, multilateral). Finally, we are interested in the implementation of prototype systems, which can inform theoretical research by providing empirical data and a test-bed for negotiation heuristics.
In short, topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
The general aims of TFG-MARA are to advance our understanding of the issues surrounding Multiagent Resource Allocation and to further collaboration amongst different institutions. As an important step towards these general aims, we have jointly authored an extensive survey on some of the most salient issues in Multiagent Resource Allocation:
The 1st TFG-MARA Meeting took place as part of the 2nd AgentLink Technical Forum in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on the 28th of February and the 1st of March 2005. The programme included several talks and presentations of position statements on the topics mentioned above, as well as a plenary discussion aimed at identifying connections between different strands of work in Multiagent Resource Allocation.
Here are the slides of the presentations given in Ljubljana:
The 2nd TFG-MARA Meeting took place as part of the 3rd AgentLink Technical Forum in Budapest, Hungary, on the 16th of September 2005. The programme included a presentation of the MARA Survey, an Invited Tutorial on Fairness and Uncertainty, and several technical talks as well as shorter presentations reporting on recent research activities within the European MARA community.
Here are the slides of the presentations given in Budapest: