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TAC - Trading Agent Competition

TAC - Trading Agent Competition

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TAC - Trading Agent Competition

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  1. TAC - Trading Agent Competition

  2. Trading Agent Competition • E-Commerce is expected to grow drastically in the future, presenting a multi-billion market. • Auctions make a substantial part of this ever growing market. • What can an agent do that I cannot? • Once auctions become more complex, simple bidding strategies will not work anymore.

  3. Trading Agent Competition What kind of auctions are there? • Simple • English auctions • Dutch auctions • Vickrey auctions • First-price sealed-bid auctions • … • Complex - Combinatorial auctions

  4. Trading Agent Competition Combinatorial Auctions What makes combinatorial auctions so complex? • Multiple auctions are grouped together forming inseparable bundles • Products can be complementary (Camera + Flash) : V(p1,p2..pn) > V(p1), V(p2),…,V(pn) • Products can be replaceable (Netscape + Explorer) : V(p1,p2..pn) < V(p1), V(p2),…,V(pn)

  5. Trading Agent Competition Combinatorial Auctions Do combinatorial auctions exist in real life? • Spectrum frequencies for wireless communication can be auctioned. An auction per frequency • Timeslots for airplanes takeoff and landing can be auctioned as well.

  6. Trading Agent Competition TAC - Trading Agent Competition An academic project in the University of Michigan led by Michele P. Wellman. The goal: Develop best-of-breed strategies for autonomous bidding agents in combinatorial auctions.

  7. Trading Agent Competition TAC - Rules

  8. Trading Agent Competition TAC - Rules - Contd. • a travel agent, with the goal of assembling travel packages (from TACtown to Tampa, during a notional 5-day period). • Each client has his/her own preferences. • maximize the total satisfaction of the clients. • Travel packages consist of the following: • A round-trip flight, • A hotel reservation, and • Tickets to some of the following entertainment events: Alligator wrestling, Amusement park,Museum

  9. Trading Agent Competition TAC - Rules - Contd. Flights • One auction per day (1-4), (2-5) • sets prices according to a stochastic function • x(t) = 10 + (t/12:00)*(x-10). • X from [10,90], price(t) = rand[-10, x(t)]

  10. Trading Agent Competition TAC - Rules - Contd. Hotel Rooms • traveler needs a hotel for every night between arrival and departure of the flight. • Two hotels (Tampa Towers, Shoreline Shanties) – cannot switch hotel. • Each hotel (1-4), (1-4) auctions off 16 room every minute. • 16th bid ascending auctions • Auctions close randomly on the minute>=4

  11. Trading Agent Competition TAC - Rules - Contd. Entertainment tickets • traveler can attend entertainment events only during their vacation. • An agent is allocated 12 tickets. • No more than one entertainment event per day. • Entertainment events may not repeat during the vacation. • Tickets may be sold and bought freely among agents.

  12. Trading Agent Competition Agent deliberation • What items to buy? • Allocation of goods (brute force, relaxation, genetic algorithms, linear programming) • How many items to buy? • Open/close loop (few/all - using heuristics) • How much to pay for each item? • Marginal value & price prediction (machine learning, neural networks, statistical analysis…) • When to buy the items? • Flight tickets dilemma )few/all - using heuristics)

  13. Trading Agent Competition Winning agents - 2003 • Whitebear • Empirical experiments, goods relaxation, predict prices based on previous games, low hotel bids • South Hampton TAC • Heuristics and fuzzy-logic for price prediction, Linear programming for goods allocation • Thalis • Price prediction based on regression, adds its own rules (limit # hotel rooms per day…)

  14. Trading Agent Competition Winning agents - 2003 - Contd. • UMBCTAC • buys all flight tickets at once, relaxation + heuristics for goods allocation, using rules • Wolverine • Calculated Walrasian equilibrium in competitive market, LP for goods allocation • LivingAgent • Open loop, brute force for goods allocation, high bidder, buys all flight tickets at once

  15. Trading Agent Competition The end http://www.sics.se/tac/

  16. Groupware & CSCW Groupware and Computer Supported Cooperative Work

  17. Groupware & CSCW Agenda • Definitions • Aspects of Groupware • Multi-Aspect Groupware • Social and Group Issues in Designing Groupware Systems • Supporting Technologies and Theories • Taxonomies of Groupware • Groupware and Internet

  18. Groupware & CSCW Groupware: hardware and software technology to assist interacting groups Computer Supported Cooperative Work The study of how groups work and how we can implement technology to enhance group interaction and collaboration

  19. Groupware & CSCW • Well-known Groupware examples: • Fax • Electronic mail • Video conferencing • Workflow management system: Analyzing, coordinating and executing business processes. • Groupware add-ons • Is a specific system a groupware? Depends on the system’s aspects. • Differ in time/place/group size

  20. Groupware & CSCW Agenda • Definitions • Aspects of Groupware • Multi-Aspect Groupware • Social and Group Issues in Designing Groupware Systems • Supporting Technologies and Theories • Taxonomies of Groupware • Groupware and Internet

  21. Basic Definitions Groupware Computing and Communications technology based systems that assist groups of participants, and help to support a shared environment. Group • Size (2 engineers  citizens of a country) • Interactions: • Sharing goals, tasks, common knowledge or preferences • Conflicting, adversary individuals – Closely resembles MAS.

  22. Basic Definitions Computer Supported Cooperative Work The research area that studies the use of computing and communications technologies to support group Interactivities “How do people interact and collaborate?” “How can technology facilitate and enhance this interaction and collaboration?”

  23. Basic Definitions Research methodologies: • Field studies • Laboratory experiments • Ethnological studies • System prototyping • Simulation • Conceptual modeling Disciplines: • Social psychology • Organizational design • Economics • Computer science • Management science

  24. Groupware & CSCW Agenda • Definitions • Aspects of Groupware • Multi-Aspect Groupware • Social and Group Issues in Designing Groupware Systems • Supporting Technologies and Theories • Taxonomies of Groupware • Groupware and Internet

  25. Aspects of Groupware The following classification of Groupware systems is based on system functionality: • Keeper Storage and access to share data (artifact) • Coordinator Ordering and synchronization of activities • Communicator Unconstrained and explicit communication • Team-agent Intelligent/Semi intelligent software components

  26. Aspects of Groupware Keeper The collaboration of people is centered on the Access and change of a shared set of data. Some typical keepers are: • Document revision - single writer, multiple reviewers • Concurrent editors • Computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided software engineering (CASE)

  27. Aspects of Groupware Keeper - Contd. Some keepers’ functionalities are: • Control access rights to the objects making up the artifact • Control of simultaneous access to the artifact • Versioning of the artifact • Storage of time stamp and author information on objects of the artifact - View changes • Floor control – Avoiding simultaneous access to the artifact

  28. Aspects of Groupware Ontological Model Objects & manipulations for constructing and manipulating the artifact; semantics and use Concurrency Control • Floor Control • Locking Currency - keeping the “view” up-to-date

  29. Aspects of Groupware Ontological Model - QuestMap QuestMap, by IBM • Evolved from the experimental gIBIS system (Graphical Issue Based Information System). • Support of decision making by structuring the discussions. IBIS uses a three-phase process for decision making: • Divergence: Suggesting solutions • Convergence: minimizing the set of solutions • Decision: Selecting the best solution

  30. Aspects of Groupware Ontological Model - QuestMap QuestMap is a tool to support the divergence phase.

  31. Aspects of Groupware Coordinator The set of functionalities related to the timing and scheduling of a system Some typical groupware with strong coordinator components are: • Workflow management systems • Software process management systems • Meetings coordinators and group decision support systems.

  32. Aspects of Groupware Coordinator - Contd. Focusing on the execution of a plan or sequence of activities - enacting the plan and defining the plan itself. • Enabling an activity once its preceding activities have terminated • Sending notifications to users • Inspecting the current stage of the process • Dynamic alteration of the process • Helping participants to manage their work.

  33. Aspects of Groupware Coordination Model • The coordination model has two components • Modeling of the process • Enactment of the plan Modeling the process • An actor playing a particular role can perform a certain activity. • Multiple activities make up a procedure.

  34. Aspects of Groupware Coordination Model - Cont. • Multiple procedures may be managed at the same time. Each procedure instance is called an endeavor. • The plan is a predefined specification on how the endeavor should proceed. • The plan is compose of the activity plan, actor assignment and the temporal plan (deadlines). • The plan may be fixed or set by the user.

  35. Aspects of Groupware Coordination Model - Cont. Enacting the plan • Is the plan static or can it change at run-time? • Does the system control more than one endeavor at the same time?

  36. Aspects of Groupware Communicators Communication among components may be implicit (the data in the keeper was altered) or explicit (Actors interact with one another). Typical groupware communicators are: • E-mail • Desktop conferencing systems • Chat/Instant messaging systems • White-boards

  37. Aspects of Groupware Conference and Conversational models Conference model • Who, how and when communication may take place among participants. • Describing what conversational moves are allowed in the communication. • In real-time communicators, the emphasis is on the conference model - participants will manage the conversation. I.e. Video conferencing systems.

  38. Aspects of Groupware Conference and Conversational models - Cont. Conversational model • In off-line communicators, the emphasis is on the Conversationalmodel - the system helps the users • Messages may be answered automatically - receipt acknowledgement

  39. Aspects of Groupware Team-Agents Artificial participants that perform specialized functions within a group settings. I.e. “Performance specialist”, “social mediator” Agent categories • Autonomous agents • Single user agents • Group agents

  40. Aspects of Groupware Team-Agents - Contd. Group Critic • Some computer aided design (CAD) systems have critics that comment or check the user’s design. • Working closely with the keeper, warning the designer of problems (The kitchen designer put the stove too close to the window…). • The agent is aware of the different actors in the system.

  41. Aspects of Groupware Team-Agents - Contd. Appointment Scheduler • A group calendaring and scheduling of meetings. • The agent has access to the actors individual calendars, knows their preferences, and dynamically re-arrange meetings. • As a single user agent, the scheduler pro-actively tries to satisfy its user’s preferences.

  42. Aspects of Groupware Agent Models Different autonomous agent may have different intelligence capabilities: • Tally the votes in a decision meeting • Compile a program • Print an acceptance letter • Choose a particular methodology and tool for a meeting • Plan the sequence of activities based on the goals to achieve.

  43. Aspects of Groupware User Agent Models User-interfaces especially designed for groupware stress the emphasis on using the computer to facilitate human interaction. Such user-interfaces may present: • Views of information objects and operations • Views of process and communication • View of participants • View of Shared context.

  44. Aspects of Groupware The ontological model described before must be presented to the user as information objects. Different users  different presentation First: (east=20, west=30, north=45)…

  45. Aspects of Groupware • Local operations need not be seen immediately by all participants. • A workflow view of the process may help users operate the system more easily. • Different stages of procedures • Exceptions that rise • Maps of who holds which positions • Who talks to whom • Displaying the participants and preferences, in various manners may help the users.

  46. Aspects of Groupware • Participants information may include: • Name • Photo • Opinion on relevant issues • Participants acquaintances • Status of communications technology • Geographical distribution • Contextual information may be categorized: • Structural - what, where data • Social - group norms, metrics, history • Organizational - rules of responsibilities

  47. Aspects of Groupware The Whiteboard example The simple whiteboard • Each participant has a cursor • Using the cursor, a participant may draw pixels on the canvas (the keeper) • Each participant sees the composition of all the contributions • No problem of concurrent access to the same pixel • The currency of each participant’s view is not critical

  48. Aspects of Groupware The Whiteboard example - Contd. A more elaborate whiteboard • Each participant has a cursor • Each cursor has a distinct color • The keeper now keeps track of both pixel and color (Each participate may have separate canvas) • Each participant has its own canvas • Each participant can see the changes of a particular user – time & author stamp

  49. Aspects of Groupware The Whiteboard example - Contd. An even more elaborate whiteboard • One cursor for the entire group • The keeper controls the cursor’s ownership • Some kind of concurrency control mechanism is used (floor control, timeout…) • One participant may act as an overseeing manager

  50. Groupware & CSCW Agenda • Definitions • Aspects of Groupware • Multi-Aspect Groupware • Social and Group Issues in Designing Groupware Systems • Supporting Technologies and Theories • Taxonomies of Groupware • Groupware and Internet