Some Recent Results and Open Questions in Distributed Resource Allocation

  • Yann Chevaleyre
  • Ulle Endriss
  • Nicolas Maudet
Part of the CISM International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 482)


When rational but myopic agents negotiate over the exchange of indivisible resources, any restriction to the negotiation protocol may prevent the system from converging to a socially optimal allocation in the general case. On the other hand, restrictions to the expressive power of the utility functions used by individual agents to represent their preferences can sometimes reduce the complexity of resource allocation problems and allow for very restricted negotiation protocols to work effectively. This paper reviews a number of recent theoretical results addressing these issues. Specifically, it analyses how the confinement to structurally simple deals and to certain restricted classes of cardinal utility functions can enable agents to move to an optimal allocation, while reducing the overall complexity of the process. The case of complex deals is also studied, and both restrictions on utility functions and specially designed protocols are proposed which drastically reduce the complexity of the resource allocation process.


Utility Function Social Welfare Multiagent System Optimal Allocation Modular Function 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Yann Chevaleyre, Ulle Endriss, Jérôme Lang, and Nicolas Maudet. Negotiating over small bundles of resources. In Proceedings of the 4th International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS-2005), July 2005a. To appear.Google Scholar
  2. Yann Chevaleyre, Ulle Endriss, and Nicolas Maudet. On maximal classes of utility functions for efficient one-to-one negotiation. In Proceedings of the 19th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-2005), August 2005b. To appear.Google Scholar
  3. Yann Chevaleyre, Ulle Endriss, and Nicolas Maudet. Protocols for tractable resource allocation with k-additive utilities. In A. Herzig and Y. Lespérance, editors, Troisièmes Journées Francophones sur les Modèles Formels d’Interaction (MFI-2005). Cépaduès-Éditions, May 2005c. To appear.Google Scholar
  4. Paul E. Dunne, Michael Wooldridge, and Michael Laurence. The complexity of contract negotiation. Artificial Intelligence, 2005. To appear.Google Scholar
  5. Ulrich Endriss, Nicolas Maudet, Fariba Sadri, and Francesca Toni. On optimal outcomes of negotiations over resources. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS-2003). ACM Press, 2003a.Google Scholar
  6. Ulrich Endriss, Nicolas Maudet, Fariba Sadri, and Francesca Toni. Resource allocation in egalitarian agent societies. In A. Herzig, B. Chaib-draa, and Ph. Mathieu, editors, Secondes Journées Francophones sur les Modèles Formels d’Interaction (MFI-2003), pages 101–110. Cépaduès-Éditions, May 2003b.Google Scholar
  7. P. C. Fishburn. Utility Theory for Decision Making. John Wiley and Sons, 1970.Google Scholar
  8. Michel Grabisch. k-order additive discrete fuzzy measures and their representation. Fuzzy Sets and Systems, 92:167–189, 1997.zbMATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  9. Gregory E. Kersten, Sunil J. Noronha, and Jeffrey Teich. Are all e-commerce negotiations auctions? In Proc. of the 4th Intl. Conf. on the Design of Cooperative Systems, 2000.Google Scholar
  10. Hervé Moulin. Axioms of Cooperative Decision Making. Cambridge University Press, 1988.Google Scholar
  11. Noam Nisan. Bidding and allocation in combinatorial auctions. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC-2000), 2000.Google Scholar
  12. Jeffrey S. Rosenschein and Gilad Zlotkin. Rules of Encounter. MIT Press, 1994.Google Scholar
  13. Michael H. Rothkopf, Aleksandar Pekeč, and Ronald M. Harstad. Computationally manageable combinational auctions. Management Science, 44(8): 1131–1147, 1998.zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Tuomas W. Sandholm. Contract types for satisficing task allocation: I Theoretical results. In Proceedings of the AAAI Spring Symposium: Satisficing Models, 1998.Google Scholar
  15. Amartya K. Sen. Collective Choice and Social Welfare. Holden Day, 1970.Google Scholar
  16. R. G. Smith. The contract net protocol: High-level communication and control in a distributed problem solver. IEEE Transactions on Computers, C-29(12): 1104–1113, 1980.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© CISM, Udine 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yann Chevaleyre
    • 1
  • Ulle Endriss
    • 2
  • Nicolas Maudet
    • 1
  1. 1.Place du Maréchal de Lattre de TassignyParis-DauphineParis cedex 16France
  2. 2.Department of ComputingImperial College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations