Friday, April 10, 2009

9 months later, the manifest opus

Yes, my thesis is finally done!

(Disclaimer: The bearded character in the image above in no way represents my real thesis advisor. He's not bald or thickly bearded! Oh, yes, and he's a nice guy too. . Image from PHD Comics)

Empirical Studies in Computer-Mediated Interest-Based Negotiations

Sohan D'souza

Master of Science in Information Technology

Faculty of Informatics

The British University in Dubai

April 8, 2009

Negotiations in which participants exchange offers based on their chosen positions can be extended to include dialogue about their interests. Revelation of negotiators' interests allows them to make more acceptable offers and perhaps propose possible alternative approaches toward each other's interests, both of which may result in mutually and individually beneficial outcomes. However, it can also expose their strategies, and possibly their dependencies on other negotiators toward the achievement of their goals. Revealing this information can leave them vulnerable to extortion or retribution, but it can also be used to gain sympathy or build a relationship of trust and reciprocity.

This dissertation studies human behaviour and performance upon introducing options for goal inquiry and revelation into mediated-protocol negotiation scenarios. Empirical studies were conducted by having human players negotiate over an alternating offer protocol and an interest-based bargaining protocol, on a platform specially adapted for this purpose. The analysis of data from these experiments revealed interesting patterns in the human use of goal revelation, and its effects on individual and social outcomes and likelihood of agreement. The design of the experiments and the development of the experimentation platform lay the groundwork for the further study of goal revelation in mediated negotiations with humans.

I still have the defense and some minor polishing to go, but the official submission is done

Nao I can has a life! Noes, srsly!



  1. Haha! Glad to know you can 'nao' have fun !

    I don't understand nothing to your dissertation but I send you my congrats haha! ;-)

  2. Thank you.

    And there's no need to try understanding my dissertation. I can hardly understand it myself.

    (just kidding)