CS395T: Agent-Based Electronic Commerce -- Fall 2003: Assignments Page

Assignments for Agent-Based Electronic Commerce (cs395t)

Week 1 (8/28): Introduction

  • For each class (after the first), be sure to submit a question or comment about the reading by midnight on the day before class 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]".

  • Week 2 (9/2,4): Auction theory

  • Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature, pages 1-46 and the afterword. (Due Tuesday)
    Paul Klemperer.
    Journal of Economic Surveys, 13(3), July 1999, pp. 227-286.
    Please read pages 1-46 (which includes Appendix A).
    Important note: This is a survey article. I don't expect you to fully understand the technical details of all the stated results. More important is to understand the parameters that go into the analysis of an auction (e.g. risk attitude of sellers and buyers, private vs. common values, etc.) and how they can impact this analysis. The one exception is that you should thoroughly understand the revenue equivalence theorem (Appendix A). See my message to the class mailing list for further explanation.

  • Auctions and Bidding: A Primer. (Due Thursday)
    Paul Milgrom.
    The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 3, No. 3. (Summer, 1989), pp. 3-22.
    Note: The above link works from UTCS machines, but may not work from an off-campus computer.
    From outside UTCS, try this link. (thanks to Ronggang for finding it)

  • Week 3 (9/9,11): Game theory and mechanism design

  • An Introduction to Game Theory. (Due Tuesday)
    Martin J. Osborne.
    Oxford University Press, 2002.
    Please read Chapters 1 and 2 and Section 3.5.

  • Classic Mechanism Design. (Due Thursday)
    David Parkes.
    Chapter 2 of his dissertation.
    You can accelerate through sections 2.5 and 2.6, but do try to get a sense of the kinds of things that can be shown, even if you don't focus on the details of what's actually known to be possible and impossible.

  • Week 4 (9/16,18): FCC spectrum auctions

  • Spectrum Auctions. (due Tuesday)
    Peter Cramton.
    in Martin Cave, Sumit Majumdar, and Ingo Vogelsang, eds., Handbook of Telecommunications Economics, Amsterdam: Elsevier Science B.V., Chapter 14, 605-639, 2002.

  • Selling Spectrum. (Optional for Tuesday)
    John McMillan.
    Journal of Economic Perspectives, 8(3):145-162, 1994.
    This one doesn't cover the results of the auctions (since it was written in 1994, before they happened). But it has some interesting additional details about the design process.

  • Making More from Less: Strategic Demand Reduction in the FCC Spectrum Auctions. (due Thursday)
    Robert J. Weber.
    The Journal of Economics and Management Strategy 6(3), 1997.

  • Self-Enforcing Strategic Demand Reduction. (due Thursday)
    Paul S.A. Reitsma, Peter Stone, Ja'nos A. Csirik, and Michael L. Littman.
    in Agent-Mediated Electronic Commerce IV. Designing Mechanisms and Systems: AAMAS2002 Workshop on Agent-Mediated Electronic Commerce Bologna, Italy, July 16, 2002. Revised Papers. Pages 289-306.
    Note: The above link is from the class textbook. It works from UTCS machines, but may not work from an off-campus computer.

  • Week 5 (9/23,25): Trading agent competitions

  • Decision-Theoretic Bidding Based on Learned Density Models in Simultaneous, Interacting Auctions. (due Tuesday)
    Peter Stone, Robert E. Schapire, Michael L. Littman, János A. Csirik, and David McAllester
    Journal of AI Research (JAIR), Volume 19, 2003.
    We will not be covering the technical details of boosting in class. Just get a sense of what it is and focus more on the auction-related parts.

  • TAC Supply Chain Management Specification. (due Thursday)
    The TAC team.
    From the SICS TAC page (or go to the main page).

  • Week 6 (9/30,10/2): The Penn-Lehman Automated Trading Project (PLAT)

  • The Penn-Lehman Automated Trading Project. (due Tuesday)
    Michael Kearns and Luis Ortiz.
    From The PLAT page.

  • No reading due Thursday. Come to class to discuss preferences for the programming project.

  • Week 7 (10/7,9): Market-Based Control and Active Learning

  • Discussion leader: Ram on Tuesday.

  • Decentralized Markets versus Central Control: A Comparative Study. (Due Tuesday)
    F. Ygge and H. Akkermans.
    Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, Volume 11, 1999, pages 301-333.

  • Clearwater and Huberman on market-based control of buildings (Optional for Tuesday)

  • Active Sampling for Class Probability Estimation and Ranking. (Due Thursday)
    Maytal Saar-Tsechansky (guest lecturer) and Foster Provost.
    Machine Learning Journal, to appear.
    Please cc Maytal.Saar-Tsechansky@bus.utexas.edu on your comments/questions regarding this reading.

  • Week 8 (10/14,16): General equilibrium theory

  • Discussion leader: Alan.

  • Section 5.6 of Distributed Rational Decision Making. (Due Tuesday)
    Tuomas Sandholm.
    In the textbook Multiagent Systems: A Modern Introduction to Distributed Artificial Intelligence, Weiss, G., ed., MIT Press. p. 201-258.
    Just Section 5.6 on General Equilibrium: (p. 34-43 in the version linked above)

  • A Market-Oriented Programming Environment and its Application to Distributed Multicommodity Flow Problems. (Due Tuesday)
    Michael Wellman.
    Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, Volume 1, 193, pages 1-23.

  • Walverine: A Walrasian Trading Agent. (Due Thursday)
    S-F Cheng, E Leung, KM Lochner, K O'Malley, DM Reeves, LJ Schvartzman, and MP Wellman.
    Decision Support Systems 2003, to appear.
    Focus especially on the use of General Equilibrium: you can go more quiickly over Section 7.

  • Week 9 (10/21,23): Reputation

  • Discussion leader: Long (Tuesday), Karen (Thursday).

  • I would like each of you to please take a few minutes to give me some feedback on how this class is running so far by filling out the following survey. The survey was designed for my undergraduate class last semester, so not all fields are appropriate. Just fill out the ones that are appropriate or that you feel like you have something to say about. Note that you have the option of filling it out anonymously by omitting your name - it will be filtered through a web server and I won't know who sent the message. Please feel free to use that option. If you want to ignore the format of the survey, just pick any of the boxes and write something to me free-form. The main point is that I want to know what you'd like to see change for the rest of the semester.

  • The Market for Evaluations. (due Tuesday)
    Christopher Avery, Paul Resnick, Richard Zeckhauser.
    American Economic Review 89(3):564-584, 1999
    Note: The above link works from UTCS machines, but may not work from an off-campus computer.
    From outside UTCS, try this link.

  • Reputation Systems (due Thursday)
    Paul Resnick, Richard Zeckhauser, Eric Friedman, and Ko Kuwabara.
    Communications of the ACM, 43(12), December 20000, pages 45-48.
    If you can't access the published version, try this link.

  • Analyzing the economic efficiency of eBay-like online reputation mechanisms. (due Thursday)
    Chris Dellarocas.
    in Proc. 3rd ACM Conf. on Electronic commerce (2001).

  • Week 10 (10/28,30): Supply Chains

  • Discussion leader: Saurabh (Tuesday), Alex (Thursday).

  • Agent-Oriented Supply-Chain Management. (due Tuesday)
    Fox, M.S., Barbuceanu, M., and Teigen, R.
    International Journal of Flexible Manufacturing Systems, Vol. 12, No. 2/3, pp. 165-188, 2000.
    From U. of Toronto Enterprise Integration Laboratory Integrated Supply Chain Management page.

  • Concurrent Auctions Across the Supply Chain. (due Thursday)
    Mohse Babaioff and Noam Nisan.
    Proceedings of the 3rd ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce, 2001.
    Read thoroughly, including at least appendices A and B.

  • Week 11 (11/4,6): Market-based routing and Information Economy

  • Discussion leader: Shimon, Ronggang.

  • Making greed work in networks: a game-theoretic analysis of switch service disciplines. (due Tuesday)
    Scott Shenker.
    in IEEETNWKG: IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, IEEE Communications Society, IEEE Computer Society and the ACM with its Special Interest Group on Data Communication (SIGCOMM), ACM Press, volume 3, 1995.

  • Shopbots and Pricebots. (due Thursday)
    Amy R. Greenwald and Jeffrey O. Kephart
    In Proceedings of the Sixteenth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pages 506-511, Stockholm, Sweden, August 1999.

  • Week 12 (11/11,13): Preference elicitation

  • Discussion leader: Guru (Thursday).

  • A POMDP Formulation of Preference Elicitation Problems. (due Thursday)
    Craig Boutilier.
    In Proceedings of the Eighteenth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-2002), Edmonton, AB, pp.239--246 (2002).

  • Cooperative Negotiation in Autonomic Systems using Incremental Utility Elicitation. (Optional for Thursday)
    Craig Boutilier, Rajarshi Das, Jeffrey O. Kephart, Gerald Tesauro, and William E. Walsh.
    In Proceedings of 19th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), 2003.

  • Week 13 (11/18,20): Human preferences and combinatorial auctions

  • Discussion leader: Harish (Tuesday), Mazda (Thursday).

  • Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias. (due Tuesday)
    Daniel Kahneman, Jack L. Knetsch, and Richard H. Thaler.
    The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 5, No. 1, (Winter, 1991), 193-206.
    Note: The above link works from UTCS machines, but may not work from an off-campus computer.

  • Iterative Combinatorial Auctions. (due Thrusday)
    David Parkes.
    To appear as chapter 3 in "Combinatorial Auctions", (Eds) Peter Crampton, Yoav Shoham, and Richard Steinberg.

  • Week 14 (11/25): Online auction empirical analysis

  • Discussion leader: Prashanth (Tuesday).

  • Last-Minute Bidding and the Rules for Ending Second-Price Auctions: Evidence from eBay and Amazon on the Internet. (due Tuesday)
    Alvin E. Roth and Axel Ockenfels.
    American Economic Review, vol. 92, issue 4, pages 1093-1103, 2002.

  • Week 15 (12/2,4): Tournament(s) project reports

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