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Competitive Benchmarking for The Trading Agent Community
TAC 2012
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TAC 2011:    Info & Call   |   Participants   |   TADA-11 *

Call for Participation: TAC-2011

Twelfth Annual Trading Agent Competition, July 17 - 19, 2011
Barcelona, Spain --- Collocated with IJCAI 2011, the 22nd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence

Trading in electronic markets is an increasingly commonplace economic activity, as well as a topic of special interest within the AI, Electronic Commerce, and Multiagent Systems (MAS) research communities.

We invite you to participate in the Twelfth Annual Trading Agent Competition (TAC-11), to be held in June and July of 2011, with the finals taking place during the IJCAI-11 conference in Barcelona, preceded by qualifying and seeding rounds in June and early July. You may register for the competition through 30 April 2011.

Building on the success of previous Trading Agent Competition events, this year's event is again designed to spur research on common problems, promote definitions of benchmarks and standard problem descriptions, and showcase current technologies. In addition to the events of 2010, we have two new events this year: Power TAC, which studies retail electric power markets, and the Lemonade Stand Game, a subtle abstract strategy game.

The competition will pit software agents, developed by research groups, students, and others from all over the world, against each other in challenging competitive simulation scenarios. These scenarios are designed to present competing agents with difficult decision problems and admit a wide variety of potential bidding and negotiation strategies.

The 2011 competiton will include five 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: Wolf Ketter, Erasmus University, Rotterdam
    Links: Preliminary information on Power TAC.
  2. Lemonade Stand Game. It is summer on Lemonade Island, and you need to make some cash. You set up a lemonade stand on the beach (which goes all around the island), as do two other entreupeneurs. There are twelve places to set up, evenly spaced around the island. Your price is fixed, and all customers go to the nearest lemonade stand. Every night, everyone moves under cover of darkness (simultaneously) and in the morning, their locations are fixed. There is no cost to move. After 100 days of summer, the game is over. The utility of the repeated game is the sum of the utilities of single-shot games.
    This is an "affiliated" game, organized by Martin Zinkevich.
    Links: Detailed information and software for the Lemonade Stand Game.
  3. 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 tactics compete to maximize profit over the simulated campaign horizon.
    TAC AA Game Master: Patrick R. Jordan, Yahoo! Labs.
    Links: Documentation and software for participating in the AA Tournament.
  4. 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.
    Links: Documentation and software for participating in the CAT Tournament, Details and other CAT information.
  5. 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.
    Links: Documentation and open source agent framework for TAC SCM, and sample agents. An updated SCM server and log-analysis tool, with examples.

The qualifying and seeding rounds will be held in June and early July, and the first day of the final rounds is scheduled to coincide with the Trading Agent Design and Analysis (TADA) workshop to be held at IJCAI'11.

To register for TAC-11, please fill out the registration form before 30 April 2011.

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. For TAC SCM the entry fee is the same independently of the number of challenge events in which a team competes.

The entry fee is waived for teams who send a representative to the TAC finals at IJCAI 2011, if that representative registers for the TADA workshop. A given individual may represent one team for one game.

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.

Further notes and links:

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

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