Non-Cooperative Planning in Multi-Agent, Resource-Constrained Environments with Markets for Reservations

Jorge E. Prado and Peter R. Wurman

Queuing and accepting reservations are common social methods for allocating scarce resources in our daily lives. However, neither method is flexible when they are components of large, complex plans. In this paper we investigate the use of mobile devices that provide timely information, facilitate planning, and enable the trading of reservations. We investigate the behavior of a closed society of simple agents competing for scarce resources. The results of the experiments demonstrate that a simple reservation mechanism can actually reduce the social welfare under certain conditions, but tradable reservations and clairvoyance each improve it. While in many situations queues are unavoidable, better information and more flexibility in reservation handling can facilitate planning.

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