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Developing an Online Dispute Resolution Environment: Dialogue Tools and Negotiation Support Systems in a Three-Step Model

Arno R. Lodder

VU University Amsterdam - Computer/Law Institute; VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

John Zeleznikow

Victoria University

Harvard Negotiation Law Review, Vol. 10, pp. 287-337, 2005

Although artificial intelligence (AI) is commonly associated with anthropomorphic computers performing amazing feats, as in movies like The Matrix and Minority Report, AI is actually a much broader field of study whose results are not always mind-blowing. So what is AI? Basically, AI involves the study of automated human intelligence. This includes both practically-oriented research, such as building computer applications that perform tasks requiring human intelligence, and fundamental research, such as determining how to represent knowledge in a computer-comprehensible form. At the intersection of AI on the one hand and law on the other lies a field dedicated to the use of advanced computer technology for legal purposes: AI & Law. This article applies the authors' research in AI & Law (negotiation decision support systems and dialogical argument tools.) to construct a model for online dispute resolution (ODR).

In considering the principles and theory underlying our integrated ODR environment, we first evaluated the order in which online disputes are best resolved. The system that we propose conforms to the following sequencing, which in our opinion produces the most effective ODR environment:
1) First, the negotiation support tool should provide feedback on the likely outcome(s) of the dispute if the negotiation were to fail - i.e., the "best alternative to a negotiated agreement" (BATNA).
2) Second, the tool should attempt to resolve any existing conflicts using dialogue techniques.
3) Third, for those issues not resolved in step two, the tool should employ compensation/trade-off strategies in order to facilitate resolution of the dispute.
4) Finally, if the result from step three is not acceptable to the parties, the tool should allow the parties to return to step two and repeat the process recursively until either the dispute is resolved or a stalemate occurs.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 52

Keywords: online dispute resolution, argumentation, negotiation, batna, artificial intelligence

JEL Classification: J11, J10, J12

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Date posted: August 22, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Lodder, Arno R. and Zeleznikow, John, Developing an Online Dispute Resolution Environment: Dialogue Tools and Negotiation Support Systems in a Three-Step Model. Harvard Negotiation Law Review, Vol. 10, pp. 287-337, 2005. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1008802

Contact Information

Arno R. Lodder (Contact Author)
VU University Amsterdam - Computer/Law Institute ( email )
De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
John Zeleznikow
Victoria University of Technology
P.O. Box 14428
Melbourne, Victoria 8001
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