A Multi-Agent Negotiation Testbed for Contracting Tasks with Temporal and Precedence Constraints

John Collins, Wolfgang Ketter, and Maria Gini
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 7, Number 1, Fall 2002, pp.35.

Abstract: In multi-agent contracting, customer agents solicit the resources and capabilities of other agents, sometimes executing multistep tasks in which tasks are contracted out to different suppliers. The authors have developed a testbed for studying the decision behaviors of agents in this context. It generates sets of tasks with known statistical attributes, formulates and submits requests for quotations, generates bids with well-defined statistics, and evaluates bids according to several criteria. Each of these processes is supported by an abstract interface and a series of pluggable modules with numerous configuration parameters, and with data collection and analysis tools.

Key Words and Phrases: Electronic marketplace, multi-agent contracting.Agent-Based System Design for B2B Electronic Commerce