Negotiation support systems, electronic negotiations

Electronic negotiation systems (e-negotiation systems or ENSs) represent a special class of negotiation support systems (NSSs) built on internet technologies, deployed on the web and capable of supporting, aiding, or replacing one or more negotiators, mediators or facilitators. ENSs are different from traditional NSSs deployed on stand-alone computers, in local- and even in wide-area networks in terms of negotiation support and supported activities. Internet technology fundamentally changes the way a negotiation problem can be represented and a negotiation process can be structured, and allows for many more activities undertaken in negotiations to be supported, including efficient matching of potential negotiators; exchange, comparison and categorization of rich data; and the use of tools for data collection, problem structuring and analysis.

The design and implementation of ENSs demand the specification of a common language as a foundation for interaction and collaboration. The more differentiated the way the language represents the negotiation context, the higher the chances that IT supports the negotiation process effectively. Enterprise models and enterprise ontology are potentially well-suited as common reference systems for electronic negotiations. In this context, we investigate how existing abstractions common in enterprise modelling require adaptation and/or extension to represent electronic negotiations. Our research approach considers the design and implementation of innovative ENSs based on a sound negotiation methodology, as well as the empirical evaluation of prototypical systems under laboratory conditions.

We cooperate with the InterNeg-Group in the design and implementation of the ENS platform Invite (InterNeg virtual integrated transaction environment) and participate in lab and internet experiments.



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