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An Empirical Evaluation on the Suitability of Market-Based Mechanisms for Telematics Applications

Christian Gerber; Christian Ruß; Gero Vierke
DFKI, DFKI Technical Memos (TM), Vol. 98-02, 1998.


In this paper, we compare the suitability of several market-based allocation mechanisms, the Vickrey auction, the matrix auction for multiple heterogeneous items and the simulated trading algorithm, using the allocation of transportation tasks to a fleet of trucks as an example domain. We distinguish three different organizational settings in which the set of vehicles, represented by autonomous agents, may be coordinated by the examined market-based mechanisms: in a cooperative setting, the truck agents are benevolent and try to reduce transportation cost on behalf of a central coordinator, i.e. an agent that represents the shipping company. In a competitive setting, the truck agents are self-interested and aim at optimizing their private surplus. In the hybrid setting a compromise between the conflicting goals, cost minimization and surplus maximization has to be found. We analyze the communication complexity of the mechanisms on a theoretical basis. We empirically examine their scalability and tractability by comparing their processing time and allocative efficiency for order sets of different size. Thereby, the allocative efficiency of the mechanisms is measured in terms of cost, surplus, and number of trucks. The results are rated from the point of view of the different organizational settings.