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Evolved Hybrid Auction Mechanisms in Non-ZIP Trader Marketplaces

Cliff, Dave; Walia, Wibhu; Byde, Andrew


Keyword(s): automated mechanism design; market mechanism; market design; ZIP traders; ZI-C traders; genetic algorithms; e-Marketplaces

Abstract: A previous CIFEr paper demonstrated that a genetic algorithm could be used to automatically discover new optimal auction mechanisms for automated electronic marketplaces populated by software-agent traders. Significantly, the new auction mechanisms are often unlike traditional mechanisms designed by humans for human traders; rather, they are peculiar hybrid mixtures of established styles of mechanism. This previous work concentrated on auction marketplaces populated by software agents running the ZIP trader algorithm (recently shown to outperform human traders). In this paper we provide the first demonstration that qualitatively similar results (i.e., non-standard hybrid mechanism designs being optimal) are also given when similar experiments are performed using a different trader algorithm, namely Gode & Sunder's ZI-C traders. Thus, this paper is the first to show that the previous results were not specific to ZIP traders, and hence it offers significant evidence that evolved hybrid auction mechanisms may be found to out-perform traditional mechanisms for any style of trader-agent.

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