Improving agent-based negotiation efficiency in construction supply chains: A relative entropy method

Xiaolong Xue, Qiping Shen, Heng Li, William J. O'Brien, Zhaomin Ren

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This research presents a relative entropy method for improving agent-based negotiation efficiency (REANE) in a construction supply chain. REANE provides a path forward to help negotiators reach an acceptable solution when other methods fail; the key insight is the use of relative entropy to measure the relative degree of consensus among parties and hence minimize necessary compromises. An illustrative example is presented to show the application of REANE. The REANE method aggregates the preference information of negotiators in CSC twice. First, a compromise group preference order is ascertained using preference information, which is newly provided by negotiators, and compromise preference information (formed previously in the agent-based auto-negotiation process). Second, group preferences are aggregated by employing a relative entropy model, which is established based on entropy theory, while, considering the multiple attributes of negotiation in a construction supply chain. The method of REANE fulfills the necessary requirement of group decision-making, i.e., maximizing the preference consistency of decision-making groups and minimizing the utility gaps between every negotiator's preference and the group's preference.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)975-982
Number of pages8
JournalAutomation in Construction
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2009


  • Agent-based negotiation
  • Construction supply chain
  • Negotiation efficiency
  • Relative entropy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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