CS395T: Agent-Based Electronic Commerce -- Fall 2003
CS395T: Agent-Based Electronic Commerce -- Fall 2003
Instructor: Peter Stone
Department of Computer Sciences
Tuesday, Thursday 2-3:15pm
Jump to the assignments page.
Jump to the resources page.
office hours: by appointment
office: TAY 4.122
Have you ever dreamt of creating an autonomous intelligent agent to
plan your vacation for you? One that would choose your flights, make
your hotel reservation, and even buy entertainment tickets, all in an
effort to match your stated preferences as closely as possible while
minimizing cost? That was the challenge addressed by entrants in the
first Trading Agent
Competition, introduced in 2000 by researchers at the University
This course will enable you to program agents that address such
challenges. It will focus on topics at the intersection of Computer
Science (including multiagent systems and machine learning),
Economics, and Game Theory. In particular, it will explore economic
mechanisms of exchange suitable for use by automated intelligent
agents. It will begin with the relatively traditional approaches in
game theory and mechanism design in which economic mechanisms are
evaluated and analyzed with simple, straightforward agent bidding
strategies. Extensive attention will then be paid to the
comparatively new emphasis on the creation of sophisticated bidding
strategies given a fixed mechanism.
The course is an informal graduate seminar. There will be some
assigned readings and discussions. The exact content of the course
will be guided in part by the interests of
the students. It will cover at least:
There will be a programming component to the course in the form of a
trading agent competition using one of the frameworks linked
below. Students will be expected to be proficient in C, C++, and/or
Java (depending on the platform we use).
Some background in artificial intelligence and strong programming
skills are recommended.
The course textbook is:
Agent-Mediated Electronic Commerce IV, Designing
Mechanisms and Systems, AAMAS 2002 Workshop on Agent Mediated
Edited by Julian A. Padget, Onn Shehory, David C. Parkes, Norman M. Sadeh, William E. Walsh.
Springer-Verlag, 2002. ISBN#: 3-540-00327-4.
Note that the book is available
on-line from within UT.
Reading, written, and programming assignments will be updated on the
assignments page. A tentative schedule for the entire semester is posted. But the readings and exercises may change up until the Tuesday of the week before they are due (1 week in advance).
Slides from class and other relevnat links and information are on the
resources page. If you find
something that should be added there, please email it to me.
Please subscribe to
the class mailing list. The listname is "cs395t-pstone-fall03".
Once you have subscribed to the list, you can send mail to the class
information may be sent to this list. It is the student's
responsibility to be subscribed.
Grades will be based on:
- Written responses to the readings (20%):
By midnight on the night before class, everyone must submit a
brief question or comment about the readings as an email in plain
ascii text. I prefer that is be sent in the body of the email,
rather than as an attachment. Please use the subject line "class
readings for [due date]". In some cases,
specific questions may be posted along with the readings. But in
general, it is free form. Credit will be based on evidence that you
have done the readings carefully. Acceptable responses include (but
are not limited to):
- Class participation (30%):
Students are expected to be present in class having completed the
readings and participate actively in the discussions.
- Oral presentation/discussion moderation (10%):
Each student will be expected to lead a discussion on one of the
readings. The discussion can begin with a brief summary/overview of
the important points in the readings, but the assumption is to be that
everyone has already completed the readings. The student may either
present material related to the readings (perhaps from an outside
source) or moderate a class discussion about the readings. In the
latter case, the student must be prepared to keep the conversation
flowing. Here are some tips on leading
- Programming project (20%):
About halfway through the semester, we will choose, as a class, one or
more domains for an end-of-class trading agent tournament. Each
student will be required to implement an agent for this tournament.
Depending on the domain and the interests of the students, pair
programming may be allowed. In rare instances, students may be
permitted to propose alternative programming projects as their based
on particular interests/questions that have arisen from the readings.
Details of the programming project will be announced by about week 6
of the class. The project will be due before the last week of class.
- Final report (20%):
To accompany the programming project, a written report will be due on
the last day of class describing the approach taken and relating it to
the readings from the class. The report should be roughly equivalent
to a conference paper in format, length, and style. Where possible,
empirical results should be included to evaluate the
approach. Please place a copies of your agent code, your final
report, and any other relevant data in a directory under
/projects/agents2/class/final-project by Friday, December
Trading Agent Competitions
Related Courses Elsewhere
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