FM Prototypes


The first phase of the Fishmarket Project has produced six working prototypes of an electronic auction house which culminate in FM96.5. The following table gives an indication of the aims and achievements in each of those efforts.

Place Basic Tool Concerns Advantages
FM96.0 IIIA Netscape Fast development Demonstrability
FM96.1 IIIA & Naples PVM Synchronisation, Bidding protocol Proof of concept
FM96.2 IIIA-Bath MPI/C Open Network Portability
FM96.3 IIIA-Bath MPI/C More agents, Market functionality Isolated Contexts
FM96.4 IIIA-Bath EU-Lisp/MPI Agent interactions Expressiveness
FM96.5 IIIA-Bath JAVA Modularity, concurrency, functionality Expandability
Table 1.- Implementations of the Fishmarket Environment

A new generation of developments is now underway to build FM97.6.


This is a Java-based multi agent environment which allows for real-time concurrent operation of the complete fish market auction process: admission of buyers and sellers, financial settlements, buyer's credit updates and actual bidding.

A robust implementation of the downward (dutch) bidding protocol has been achieved in a way that faithfully mimics all relevant features of actual fish market auctions--including "fairness" (all bidders have identical information and timing conditions), "vivaciousness" (bidding calls are received at arbitrarily large speed), "pertinence" (only market-relevant information is available to buyers), "sufficiency" (all market relevant information is available to the buyers)-- assuming only that a reliable network (e.g. TCP/IP) is used for agent interactions.

This implementation models market employees as dialogical agents with a simple layerd structure. Buyers and sellers interact with the market through standardized Java agent-interface applets, thus allowing agents of arbitrary complexity (including human agents) to participate in this electronic auction house.

FM96.5: A Guided Tour

The different scenes of the FIshmarket (as implemented in FM96.5) are compared with the corresponding activities in the real fish market:

Bidding Round
Activation & Closing


Three FM prototypes have been documented:

    FM96.1: "A PVM Implementation of the fishmarket multiagent system". Proceedings ICES-96

    FM96.5: "A Java-based electronic auction house". Proceedings PAAM97
Updated: February 20, 1997

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