Altruism, Bayesian networks, decision making, distributed control, intelligent systems, multiagent systems, negotiations, satisficing games


Social utilities account for agent preferences and, thus, can characterize complex interrelationships, such as cooperation, compromise, negotiation, and altruism, that can exist between agents. Satisficing game theory, which is based on social utilities, offers a framework within which to design sophisticated multiagent systems. Key features of this approach are: a) an N-agent system may be represented by a 2N-dimensional Bayesian network, called a praxeic network; b) the theory accommodates a notion of situational altruism (a willingness to defer to others in a controlled way if so doing would actually benefit others under the condition that others wish to take advantage of such largesse); and c) satisficing games admits a protocol for effective negotiation between agents who, though interested in their own welfare, are also willing to give some deference to others. Three applications are presented. The first two involve well-known two-person games: the Prisoner's Dilemma and the Battle of the Sexes, and the third is a simulated uninhabited aerial vehicle scenario.

Original Publication Citation

Stirling, W. C., and R. L. Frost. "Social Utility Functions-Part II: Applications." Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part C: Applications and Reviews, IEEE Transactions on 35.4 (25): 533-43

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

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Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Electrical and Computer Engineering