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Competitive Benchmarking for The Trading Agent Community
TAC 2012
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TAC 2012 - Call for Participation

Thirteenth Annual Trading Agent Competition

on 4 and 5 June 2012 in Valencia, Spain

We invite you to participate in the Thirteenth Annual Trading Agent Competition (TAC 2012), to be held in May and June of 2012, with the finals taking place during the AAMAS-12 conference in Valencia, preceded by qualifying and seeding rounds in May and early June. You may register for the competition starting 1 February 2012 through 15 April 2012 at

The TAC 2012 will include four games:
  1. Power TAC. Sustainable energy systems of the future will need more than efficient, clean, low-cost, renewable energy sources; they will also need efficient price signals that motivate sustainable energy consumption as well as a better real-time alignment of energy demand and supply. In Power TAC, agents act as retail brokers in a local power distribution region, purchasing power from a wholesale market as well as from local sources, such as homes and businesses with solar panels, and selling power to local customers and into the wholesale market. Retail brokers must solve a supply-chain problem in which the product is infinitely perishable, and supply and demand must be exactly balanced at all times. - Power TAC Game Master is Wolf Ketter, Erasmus University, Rotterdam. Full documentation and software are available at
  2. TAC Ad Auctions (AA). In the TAC/AA game, agents representing Internet advertisers bid for search-engine ad placement over a range of interrelated keyword combinations. A back-end search-user model translates placement over each simulated day to impressions, clicks, and sale conversions, yielding revenue for the advertiser. Advertiser strategies combining online data analysis and bidding tac tics compete to maximize profit over the simulated campaign horizon. - TAC AA Game Master is Michael Wellman, University of Michigan. Documentation and software for participating in the AA Tournament are accessible at
  3. TAC Market Design (reverse TAC, or "CAT"). CAT software agents represent market makers whose goals are to attract potential buyers and sellers as customers, and then to match buyers with sellers. The market makers compete with one another in doing this, such as the London Stock Exchange competes with the NYSE for the business of stock traders. - CAT Game Master: Tim Miller, University of Melbourne. Documentation and software for participating in the CAT Tournament are accessible via sourceforge. Access details and other CAT information is available at
  4. TAC Supply Chain Management (SCM). TAC/SCM simulates a dynamic supply chain environment where agents compete to secure customer orders and components required for production of these orders. The game captures many of the complexities of actual supply chains, where both demand and supply fluctuate and each manufacturer has limited production capacity. There are also two SCM Challenge events that can be run if there is a clear expressed interest: a Procurement Challenge and a Prediction Challenge; these will take place if enough teams (minimum 6) register for them. - TAC SCM Game Master: Vedran Podobnik, University of Zagreb. Documentation an open source agent framework for TAC SCM, and sample agents, are available for download at An updated SCM server and log-analysis tool, with examples, are available at

The qualifying and seeding rounds will be held in May and early June, and the first day of the final rounds is scheduled to coincide with TADA/AMEC, the Joint Workshop on Trading Agent Design and Analysis and Agent-Mediated Electronic Commerce workshop to be held at AAMAS'12.

To register for TAC-12, please fill out the registration form before 15 April 2012 at:

The entry fee will be US$250 per team to enter one game, or $400 for all TAC games, except that there is no fee for the Lemonade Stand Game. The entry fee (for one game) is waived for teams who send a representative to the TAC finals at AAMAS 2012, if that representative registers for the TADA workshop (in case a team participates in more than 1 game, registration cost is reduceed to US$150). Note: Please send any questions regarding the fees to tac [at] Groups unable to afford the entry fee may also contact tac [at] for special consideration.

General information about TAC can be found at:

Exact dates for the qualifying and seeding rounds will soon be posted on this site, and sent to the tac-discuss mailing list. You may subscribe by sending an email to tac-discuss-request (at), subject "subscribe".

More information about the Trading Agent Analysis and Design (TADA) workshop is at:

Information about the Association for Trading Agent Research, the organization responsible for TAC, is at:

Please circulate this announcement to anyone who may be interested in participating. Inquiries may be directed to tac-support [at]


Registration for TAC-2011
The registration for TAC 2011 is now open. You can register your team here. More information about TAC 2011 is available here. [2011-04-01]

TAC 2011 Call for Participation
TAC 2011 features five games, including the new Power TAC and the Lemonade Stand Game. [2010-12-05]

Registration for TAC 2010
The registration for TAC 2010 is now open. You can register your team here. More information about TAC 2010 is available here. [2010-03-06]

Participation Rules Clarification
To clarify the rules of participation: All agents must be developed independently, meaning no one person can simultaneously contribute to the development of two or more entries in the same game. This does not preclude multiple entries from the same institution. [2008-05-30]

TAC 2008 Registration Deadlines Announced
The TAC SCM registration deadline has been set to June 10th, and the deadline for the SCM Challenges is June 20th. The registration deadline for the TAC Market Design (CAT) games is TBA. These deadlines have been posted on the events schedule, which can be found here. [2008-03-17]

TAC 2008 Events Schedule
The events schedule for the TAC 2008 games has been posted. You can check the schedule here. [2008-02-24]

TAC 2008 Call for Participation
The call for participation for the TAC 2008 games is out. You can read more about it here and register for participation here. [2008-01-25]

New competition game in TAC 2007: TAC Market Design
This year the competition features a new game, TAC Market Design (CAT) focused on the design of market rules for matching buyers and sellers. See TAC Market Design for more information. [2007-01-23]

TAC SCM Challenges in TAC 2007
This year participants have the option to enter two TAC SCM challenges, one focused on procurement and on on forecasting. These challenges are intended to promote additional research and encourage new entries. For more information see the TAC SCM 2007 Challenges. [2007-01-23]

TADA-07 in conjunction with AAAI-07
The workshop on Trading Agent Design and Analysis (TADA-07) will be held July 23, 2007 in conjunction with AAAI-07 in Vancouver, Canada. For more information and call for paper see TADA-07. [2006-12-07]

TAC 2007 finals at AAAI-07
Finals of Trading Agent Competition 2007 will be held in conjunction with AAAI-07 in Vancouver, Canada. AAAI 2007 is held during July 22–26 and the time and dates of the TAC finals will be announced later. [2006-12-07]

TAC 2006 - Press release!
Announcing the 2006 Trading Agent Competition, where teams from 15 countries will vie to maximize profits in 2 tournaments

May 4, 2006

Future University-Hakodate, Japan

Computer agents developed by 30 teams from around the world are vying to surpass each other in two particularly challenging market games, as part of the 7th Annual Trading Agent Competition (TAC-2006). Final rounds of the competition will be held at the Fifth International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS-06), which this year is taking place at the Future University in Hakodate, Japan. Qualifying rounds and seeding rounds, which took place over the past month, were just completed on May 2.

This year’s two market games are:
1. TAC Travel, where software agents represent travel coordinators whose goal is to arrange travel packages for clients. These travel packages consist of flights, hotel rooms, and tickets to entertainment events, all of which the agents buy (and, in the case of event tickets, sell) in electronic auctions.
2. TAC Supply Chain Management (SCM), which simulates a dynamic supply chain environment where agents compete to secure customer orders and components required to producethese orders. The game captures many of the complexities of actual supply chains, where both demand and supply fluctuates and each manufacturer has a limited production capacity.

The market games have been specially designed to present agents with difficult decision problems and admit a wide variety of potential bidding and negotiation strategies. Both games have been refined over the years through collaboration among participating research centers. TAC Travel was originally conceived by the University of Michigan and has benefited from design contributions from Brown University . TAC SCM was jointly designed by Carnegie Mellon University and the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS) and has been refined in collaboration with the University of Minnesota. Both tournaments are operated through market game servers developed by SICS. The competition has also benefited from support from the US National Science Foundation.

The winner of last year’s TAC Travel competition was Mertacor, an agent developed by Prof. Pericles Mitkas and his team at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The winner of last year’s TAC SCM competition was TacTex, an agent developed by Prof. Peter Stone and his team at the University of Texas at Austin. Both teams are bringing improved versions of their trading agents to this year’s tournament.

This year, hundreds of AAMAS participants are expected to follow the competition at the conference venue.


For more information about the Trading Agent Competition, see

Contacts: Norman Sadeh, Carnegie Mellon University, TAC 2006 Publicity Chair
Amy Greenwald, Brown University, TAC 2006 Event Chair
Michael Wellman, University of Michigan, Chair, Association for Trading Agent Research [2006-05-04]

TAC 2006 Started!
TAC 2006 has started and after some hours of competition Mertacor has the lead in TAC Travel/Classic and PhantAgent in TAC SCM. Good luck to all participants! [2006-04-03]

TAC 2005 Finals - Results!
The finals of TAC 2005 have ended. The top agents and their score are:

TAC Classic:
1. Mertacor 4126.49
2. whitebear05 4105.68
3. Walverine 4058.90

1. TacTex-05 4.741 M
2. SouthamptonSCM 1.604 M
3. Mertacor 546 272

TAC 2005 Seeding Rounds Finished!
The TAC 2005 seeding rounds has finished. The ranking tables can be found here. [2005-07-22]

Payment Information!
The TAC 2005 Entry fee should be payed before the seeding rounds starts (11 July). You can pay either via Paypal or via a check in US dollars to "Association for Trading Agent Research.". In that case, please send the payment check to:

Michael Wellman
University of Michigan AI Laboratory
1101 Beal Av
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2110 USA

If you pay using PayPal you should pay to (click on the image below to get there).

The entry fee (US$250 per team for one game, or $400 for both TAC games). This entry fee includes registration for one member of the team to attend the TADA-05 workshop at IJCAI. A limited set of grants is available to cover entry fees for student-run teams based in the European Union; to apply contact Norman Sadeh . [2005-06-23]

SCM AW Updated!
The TAC SCM AgentWare has been updated. Changes include:

  • Support for recovering active orders when reconnecting to a game
  • Automatic reconnect (between games) for more robust connections
  • API for accessing customer product segments (extension to the BOMBundle API)

Classic AW updated!
The TAC Classic AgentWare has been updated. Improvements include: flight quote update every 10 seconds, disconnects from server between games to avoid "dead-connections". [2005-06-07]

Early Registration for IJCAI/TADA 21 May!
Please note that the early registration for IJCAI-05, including the TADA workshop, is 21 May. You can register online at . The IJCAI registration fees are considerably reduced (in all categories) if you register by this date. [2005-05-20]

TAC-05@IJCAI - location decided
The TAC 2005 finals will be held at the IJCAI-05 conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. There will also be a TAC related workshop called TADA-05. [2004-12-02]

TAC 2004 Finals - Results!
The finals of TAC 2004 have ended. The top agents and their score are:

TAC Classic:
1. whitebear04 4122.11
2. Walverine 3848.97
3. LearnAgents 3736.62

1. FreeAgent 10.28 M
2. Mr.UMBC 8.652 M
3. UMTac-04 6.518 M

TAC 2004 Seeding Starts
The seeding rounds of TAC 2004 started today and will be played for two weeks. [2004-07-05]

TAC 2004 Qualifying Rounds - results!
The qualifying rounds of TAC 2004 have ended. The top agents and their score are:

TAC Classic:
1. whitebear04 3898.05
2. NNN 3491.74
3. SICS02 3410.40

1. jackaroo 32.62 M
2. FreeAgent 31.27 M
3. UMTac-04 28.41 M [2004-06-18]

TAC 2004 - Second Week
Tomorrow, Monday the 14:th, TAC 2004 continues after a weekend of rest. The games will start at 13:00 UTC (Server Time) and will be on the same servers as previous week. Current Standing is:

TAC Classic: 1. whitebear04, 2.NNN and 3. SICS02
TAC SCM: 1.aoe, 2. jackaroo and 3. UMTac-04 [2004-06-13]

TAC 2004 Starts Today!
At 13:00 UTC TAC 2004 will start. Note that the servers will be down for administration the hours before. [2004-06-07]

New TAC Classic AW Released
A new version of the TAC Classic AgentWare has been release. It has support for the updated TAC Classic game. Changes include:

  • AW queries the server for game details (including game length)
  • Several new methods to simplify development of agents
  • bug fixes
There will be an update within a week or two that will include a new GUI. [2004-05-25]

TAC Classic 04 Server Released
The Java port of the TAC Classic server has been released. It is compliant with the new TAC Classic (04) rules. You can download it from here. [2004-05-25]

Changes to TAC Classic game rules!
A few changes have been made to the TAC Classic game rules. Changes in short:

  • Games are 9 minutes instead of 12 (first hotel auction close after 1 minute instead of 4)
  • Changed flight price perturbation
read more... [2004-05-03]

TAC SCM 04 Specification and Servers up!
The TAC SCM 2004 specification has been published on the site (read it here). One of the TAC servers,, is running the modified game for everyone to try out new strategies for the new game. [2004-02-23]

Dates for TAC 2004 finals announced
The TAC 2004 finals will be played July 20 through July 22 during the AAMAS conference. Call for participation and more information about TAC 2004 will be available soon. [2004-01-29]

New TAC SCM server released
A new version (0.8.8) of the TAC SCM server has been released. It includes better competition administration and some bug fixes (not related to the TAC-03 SCM scenario/game). [2003-10-31]

ICEC03 TAC SCM Competition Started!
A TAC SCM competition is arranged during the ICEC03 conference. There are 12 teams competing during the first to third of October. See the current standings at here (at the tac5 server). [2003-10-01]

TAC 2003 Final Results
The TAC 2003 has ended and we have two winners: ATTac01 in TAC Classic and RedAgent in TAC SCM. We would like to thank all the participants and hope that we will see you all in TAC 2004. [2003-08-18]

TAC 2003 Seeding Rounds Finished!
The TAC 2003 seeding rounds has finished. The ranking tables can be found here. [2003-07-18]

Detailed Schedule for TAC 2003 available
A more detailed schedule of the seeding and final rounds of TAC 2003 is now available at the TAC 2003 FAQ page. [2003-07-03]

TAC 2003 Qualifying Finished!
The TAC 2003 qualifying rounds has finished. The ranking tables can be found here. [2003-06-27]

New Log Tool for TAC SCM
We have released a log tool for TAC SCM game logs that displays many details of TAC SCM games, including:

  • Communication between suppliers - manufacturers - customer
  • Bank account diagrams (interest rate, penalties, etc)
  • RFQs and Offers each day
  • Production, capacity, and average prices for supply
  • Factory utilization, component and PC inventory levels

TAC SCM server updated
The TAC SCM server running at tac5, tac6, and has been updated to version 0.8.3. The most important changes are:

  • The RFQ handling at suppliers was bug fixed to correctly implement the specification
  • The Customers to ignores RFQs with negative prices
  • The viewer shows bank account better and the "meter" now displays the factory utilization correctly
There is a new binary available from the download pages. [2003-06-23]

New Version of SCM AgentWare and Server
A new, more robust, version (0.9.1Beta) of the AgentWare has been released. Important changes:

  • TimeListener.nextTimeUnit will be called before first message each day
  • BankStatus contains a list of any denied deliveries the previous day
  • More robust (will reconnect to the server when needed)

Together with the AW there is also a new version of the TAC SCM server available. Download from the TAC SCM software page. [2003-06-14]

Minor updates to the TAC SCM specification
The TAC SCM specification has been updated with the following changes:

  1. The random walk for customer RFQ average (number of RFQs per day) is from now on bounded to RFQAvgMin - RFQAvgMax (80-320).
  2. The RFQ handling text for suppliers has been updated (page 7).
[2003-06-12] back after disk crash
The has been down for two days because of a crashed hard drive. Several "training games" was lost, but the server is now up and running again. [2003-06-11]

Two New TAC SCM Servers Running!
From now on there are three TAC SCM servers running at SICS.

  • configured to play long games (simulating 220 days)
  • configured to play short games (simulating 56 days)
  • configured to play short games (simulating 56 days)

New version of the TAC SCM specification published
The new specification can be found here. Important changes are:

  • Suppliers use a order ratio to discourage agents to block supply using too large RFQs
  • BOM and Component Catalog updated to reflect what the TAC SCM server sends out to agents
  • Order of partial and earliest complete offer has been changed to reflect what the TAC SCM server sends out to agents
More details on the changes will be available soon. [2003-06-02]

Public Beta of TAC SCM AgentWare released!
The public beta of the TAC SCM Agentware has been relased and can be downloaded from the TAC SCM Software page. [2003-05-17]

New version of TAC Classic Server released
A new version of the TAC Classic Server has been released. It has better support for scheduling games (for competitions) and also a number of bug fixes. [2003-04-24]

Call for Participation TAC-03
The call for TAC-03 is out. You can read more about it here and register for participation here. [2003-03-27]

New TAC Website launched
A new TAC web site that reflects the widened scope of TAC has been launched. [2003-03-21]

The TAC'03 Workshop Location has been decided
The Workshop that is arranged together with the TAC'03 finals will be held at IJCAI 2003, Acapulco, Mexico. IJCAI is held during August 9 to 15. [2002-11-01]

The TAC'03 Scenario has been decided
The scenario that was selected is the CMU/SICS scenario which is about Supply-Chain-Management. [2002-09-18]

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For questions about Trading Agent Competition or about this web site, contact tac-dev [at]