Bidding under Uncertainty: Theory and Experiments
Amy Greenwald, Justin Boyan
This paper describes a study of agent bidding strategies, assuming combinatorial valuations for complementary and substitutable goods, in three auction environments: sequential auctions, simultaneous auctions, and the Trading Agent Competition (TAC) Classic hotel auction design, a hybrid of sequential and simultaneous auctions. The problem of bidding in sequential auctions is formulated as an MDP, and it is argued that expected marginal utility bidding is the optimal bidding policy. The problem of bidding in simultaneous auctions is formulated as a stochastic program, and it is shown by example that marginal utility bidding is not an optimal bidding policy, even in deterministic settings. Two alternative methods of approximating a solution to this stochastic program are presented: the first method, which relies on expected values, is optimal in deterministic environments; the second method, which samples the nondeterministic environment, is asymptotically optimal as the number of samples tends to infinity. Finally, experiments with these various bidding policies are described in the TAC Classic setting.
PDF Link: /papers/04/p209-greenwald.pdf
AUTHOR = "Amy Greenwald
and Justin Boyan",
TITLE = "Bidding under Uncertainty: Theory and Experiments",
BOOKTITLE = "Proceedings of the Twentieth Conference Annual Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI-04)",
PUBLISHER = "AUAI Press",
ADDRESS = "Arlington, Virginia",
YEAR = "2004",
PAGES = "209--216"