The Expert Neutral Decider  (END) is a Smartsettle function with an incentive for negotiators to move their position closer to fair before the negotiation ends. Negotiators may choose this option if they wish the system to settle their negotiation in case of no agreement in Final Session.  If the parties are very close, the system will close the gap using the Small Gap Closer (SGC) in which the gap is divided by Rewarding Collaborative Behaviour. If the gap is too large for the SGC then a panel of (usually) three Expert Neutrals are instructed to each select “fair” from among a set of possible outcomes that have already been defined by the negotiation, while being unaware of which outcomes have been accepted by any other party. The middle of those three values is deemed “fair”. Once “fair” has been selected, Smartsettle declares an outcome by favoring the party that was closest to fair by picking a value between “fair” and the value last accepted by that party. If “fair” happens to be more acceptable to that party, then “fair” becomes the final outcome.

When first in development, this function was named Dampened Pendulum Arbitration looking at it as a modification of ordinary pendulum arbitration. We said that it did not have the clear loser problems of ordinary pendulum arbitration. However, calling the method arbitration gives the wrong impression because there is actually no human arbitrator involved and it is still a voluntary part of the process.

Here is an illustration of how our Expert Neutral Decider works in simple cases.

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