Pocket Negotiator, synergy between man and machine


Negotiation is a complex emotional decision-making process aiming to reach an agreement to exchange goods or services. Although a daily activity, few people are effective negotiators. Existing support systems make a significant improvement if the negotiation space is well-understood, because computers can better cope with the computational complexity. However, the negotiation space can only be properly developed if the human parties jointly explore their interests. The inherent semantic problem and the emotional issues involved make that negotiation cannot be handled by artificial intelligence alone, and a human-machine collaborative system is required.
I propose to lead a team of people that will develop a new type of human-machine collaborative system that combines the strengths of both and reduces the weaknesses. Fundamental in these systems will be that user and machine explicitly share a generic task model. Furthermore, such systems are to support humans in coping with emotions and moods in human-human interactions. For this purpose we will contribute new concepts, methods and techniques. For integrative bargaining we will develop such a system, called a Pocket Negotiator, to collaborate with human negotiators. The Pocket Negotiator will handle computational complexity issues, and provide bidding- and interaction advice, the user will handle background knowledge and interaction with the opponent negotiator.
The Pocket Negotiator will enhance the negotiation skills and performance of the user by increasing the user?s capacity for exploration of the negotiation space, reducing the cognitive task load, preventing mental errors, and improving win-win outcomes. We will devise a negotiation model that matches human cognitive representations of negotiation, and develop methods and tools to support humans in coping with emotions. Two negotiation domains, labour agreements and real estate acquisition, with associated experts provide the development ground for the Pocket Negotiator. We will validate the techniques and tools in training situations, and realistic experiments.


Chapter in book

  • C.A. Detweiler, F. Dechesne, K.V. Hindriks, C.M. Jonker: Ambient intelligence implies responsibility pp. 29
  • D.J. Broekens(2012): Robot learning from feedback pp. 3
  • T. Baarslag, K.V. Hindriks, C.M. Jonker, S. Kraus, R. Lin(2012): The first automated negotiating agents competition pp. 23
  • K.V. Hindriks, W. van der Hoek, J.J. Meyer(2012): GOAL Agents Instantiate Intention Logic pp. 24

Scientific article

  • A. Pommeranz, P. Wiggers, W.P. Brinkman, C.M. Jonker(2010): Social Acceptance of Negotiation Support Systems Computer Science ISSN: 3-642-16606-7.
  • J. Broekens, C.M. Jonker, J.J. Meyer(2010): Affective Negotiation Support Systems Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments pp. 121 - 144
  • K.V. Hindriks, D. Tykhonov, M.M. de Weerdt(2010): Qualitative One-to-Many Multi-Issue Negotiation: Approximating the QVA Group Decision and Negotiation Journal ISSN: 0926-2644.
  • K.V. Hindriks, C.M. Jonker, D. Tykhonov(2010): Eliminating Issue Dependencies in Complex Negotiation Domains Multiagent and GRID Systems, an International Journal
  • N. van Dijk, J. Broekens(2010): Virtual Team Performance Depends on Distributed Leadership ICEC
  • M. Harbers, J. Broekens, K. van den Bosch, J.J. Meyer(2010): Guidelines for Developing Explainable Cognitive Models ICCM
  • J. Broekens(2010): Modeling the Experience of Emotion International Journal on Synthetic pp. 1 - 17
  • J. Broekens, M. Harbers, K.V. Hindriks, K. van den Bosch, C.M. Jonker, J.J. Meyer(2010): Do you get it? User-evaluated explainable BDI agents MATES
  • A. Pommeranz, P. Wiggers, C.M. Jonker(2010): User-Centered Design of Preference Elicitation Interfaces for Decision Support Computer Science ISSN: 3-642-16606-7.
  • S.L.G.E. Burgers, G.J. Hofstede, C.M. Jonker, T. Verwaart(2010): Sensitivity Analysis of an Agent-Based Model of Culture‚Äôs Consequences for Trade Progress in Artificial Economics: Computational and Agent-Based Models pp. 253 - 264
  • T. Baarslag, K.V. Hindriks, C.M. Jonker(2013): Effective acceptance conditions in real-time automated negotiation Decision Support Systems ISSN: 0167-9236.
  • R. Li, T. Baarslag, K.V. Hindriks, D. Tykhonov, C.M. Jonker(2013): Genius: An integrated environment for supporting the design of generic Computational Intelligence: an int
  • T. Baarslag, K.V. Hindriks, C.M. Jonker(2013): Evaluating practical negotiating agents: results and analysis of the 2011 Artificial Intelligence ISSN: 0004-3702.

Publications for the general public

  • A. Pommeranz, J. Broekens, W. Visser, W.P. Brinkman, P. Wiggers, C.M. Jonker(2008): Multi-angel View on Preference Elictation for Negotiation Support Systems
  • K.V. Hindriks, C.M. Jonker(2008): Creating Human-Machine Synergy in Negotiaotion Support Systems: Towards the Pocket Negotiator.
  • G.J. Hofstede, C.M. Jonker, D. Verwaart(2008): An Angent Model for the Influence of Culture on Bargaining


Project number


Main applicant

Prof. dr. C.M. Jonker

Affiliated with

Stichting Landelijk Netwerk Vrouwelijke Hoogleraren

Team members

Dr. ir. D.J. Broekens PhD, M.J.C. Hendrikx, A. Pommeranz MSc, Drs. W.M. Visser


01/06/2008 to 20/05/2014