Info & Call
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
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
The 2011 competiton will include five games:
- 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.
- 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
This is an "affiliated" game, organized by Martin Zinkevich.
Links: Detailed information and software for the Lemonade Stand Game.
- 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
- 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
CAT Game Master: Tim Miller, University of Melbourne.
Links: Documentation and software for participating in the CAT Tournament,
Details and other CAT
- 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,
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
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]
tradingagents.org. Groups unable to afford the entry fee may also
contact tac [at] tradingagents.org 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]