eMediator: A Next Generation Electronic Commerce Server

Tuomas Sandholm

This paper presents eMediator, a next generation electronic commerce server that demonstrates some ways in which AI, algorithmic support, and game theoretic incentive engineering can jointly improve the efficiency of ecommerce. First, its configurable auction house includes a variety of generalized combinatorial auctions, price setting mechanism, novel bid types, mobile agents, and user support for choosing an auction type. Second, its leveled commitment contract optimizer determines the optimal contract price and decommitting penalties for a variety of leveled commitment contracting protocols, taking into account that rational agents will decommit insincerely in Nash equilibrium. Third, its safe exchange planner enables unenforced anonymous exchanges by dividing the exchange into chunks and sequencing those chunks to be delivered safely in alternation between the buyer and the seller. Each of the three components is based on different types of game theoretic equilibrium analysis, and also required development of new algorithms and GUI designs to make it feasible.


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