D-Brane: a diplomacy playing agent for automated negotiations research

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Journal Article
Applied Intelligence, 2017, 47 (1), pp. 158 - 177
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10.1007_s10489-017-0919-y.pdfPublished Version569.07 kB
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© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Existing work on Automated Negotiations commonly assumes the negotiators’ utility functions have explicit closed-form expressions, and can be calculated quickly. In many real-world applications however, the calculation of utility can be a complex, time-consuming problem and utility functions cannot always be expressed in terms of simple formulas. The game of Diplomacy forms an ideal test bed for research on Automated Negotiations in such domains where utility is hard to calculate. Unfortunately, developing a full Diplomacy player is a hard task, which requires more than just the implementation of a negotiation algorithm. The performance of such a player may highly depend on the underlying strategy rather than just its negotiation skills. Therefore, we introduce a new Diplomacy playing agent, called D-Brane, which has won the first international Computer Diplomacy Challenge. It is built up in a modular fashion, disconnecting its negotiation algorithm from its game-playing strategy, to allow future researchers to build their own negotiation algorithms on top of its strategic module. This will allow them to easily compare the performance of different negotiation algorithms. We show that D-Brane strongly outplays a number of previously developed Diplomacy players, even when it does not apply negotiations. Furthermore, we explain the negotiation algorithm applied by D-Brane, and present a number of additional tools, bundled together in the new BANDANA framework, that will make development of Diplomacy-playing agents easier.
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