EPFL, Lausanne 1999
The first FishMarket Tournament will be soon taking place at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). A handful of reckless AI students from EPFL will be developing their buyer agents to compete for having the great honour of becoming the winner of the third fishmarket tournament. For this purpose, they will make use of FM, a test-bed for electronic auction markets developed at the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute.
A trading scenario will involve a collection of explicit parameters that characterize an artificial market. Such parameters define the bidding conditions (timing restrictions, increment/decrement steps, publicly available information, etc), the way goods are identified and brought into the market, the resources buyers may have available, and the conventions under which buyers and sellers are going to be evaluated. The following sections discuss these underlying ideas in order to both identify and make explicit all the information that buyer agents need to participate in a tournament.
More thorough information about the formal foundations of the FM test-bed and the fishmarke tournaments is provided in the paper entitled Competitive Scenarios for Heterogeneous Trading Agents (AGENTS'98), subsequently refined and largely extended in Towards a Test-bed for Trading Agents in Electronic Auction Markets (AICOMM). For more technical details concerning FM refer to the on-line manual (also available as an IIIA technical report).
Hints to build your own buyer agents
FM has been equipped with a library of agent templates intended to help agent programmers to construct their own agents in either Java, C, or Lisp. The templates' documented code is available in the templates directory of the FM bundle, and very interestingly, a set of agents' examples constructed out of these templates can also be found in the agentlib directory. These examples will surely constitute a good starting point for those who dare to program their agents. We must also mention that, in the particular case of the Java template, apart from the source code, the javadoc-generated documentation of its package is also available in the templates subdirectory of the html directory.
The main goal pursued when designing the FM templates was to ease the task of programming new agents as much as possible. From this follows that agent builders can almost exclusively concentrate on the design of bidding strategies.
Related information. The FishMarket Project
Do you need to know more about the fishmarket project? Perhaps you would like to go through the fishmarket project webpage. There, you can visit the fish market in Blanes, tour around FM96.5 (a Java-based version of the fish market), download our publications or the current version of FM, or visit the team members' web pages.