15th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence
  July 21-26 2002     Lyon     France  

ECAI-2002 Conference Paper

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Evolving Bidding Strategies for Multiple Auctions

Patricia Anthony, Nicholas R. Jennings

Due to the proliferation of online auctions, there is an increasing need to monitor and bid in multiple auctions in order to procure the best deal for the desired good. Against this background, this paper reports on the development and evaluation of a heuristic decision making framework that an autonomous agent can exploit to tackle the problem of bidding across multiple auctions with varying protocols (including English, Dutch and Vickrey). The framework is flexible, configurable and enables the agent to adopt varying tactics and strategies that attempt to ensure the desired item is delivered in a manner consistent with the user's preferences. In this context, however, the best strategy for an agent to use is very much determined by the nature of the environment and by the user's preferences. Given this large space of possibilities, we employ a genetic algorithm to search (offline) for effective strategies in common classes of environment. The strategies that emerge from this evolution are then codified into the agent's reasoning behaviour so that it can select the most appropriate strategy to employ in its prevailing circumstances.

Keywords: autonomous agents, genetic algorithms

Citation: Patricia Anthony, Nicholas R. Jennings: Evolving Bidding Strategies for Multiple Auctions. In F. van Harmelen (ed.): ECAI2002, Proceedings of the 15th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IOS Press, Amsterdam, 2002, pp.178-182.

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ECAI-2002 is organised by the European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence (ECCAI) and hosted by the UniversitÚ Claude Bernard and INSA, Lyon, on behalf of Association Franšaise pour l'Intelligence Artificielle.