This project has two main components:
1. Computer aided market engineering (CAME) (revised Sept. 1, 2003)
Electronic markets are not just evolving, but they have to be carefully engineered. In electronic markets, not only the trading rules but also the system design (IT infrastructure), the fee structure, as well as the product being traded has a deep impact on the overall market performance. Even small failures in design decide on the overall success or failure of a marketplace. Trading rules, information technology and the fee structure are the result of distinct processes, namely the market microstructure design, system design and business design, respectively. An interdisciplinary analysis of those interdependent processes is missing and state-of-the-art theory fails to answer the questions, what exactly these design issues in electronic market engineering are, and which concepts and tools are necessary to guide the market engineer to high quality market performance.
For practical reasons the concept of Computer Aided Market Engineering (CAME) gave rise to the implementation of the e-FIT system (Electronic Financial Trading) that embodies the concept of CAME (see Figure 1). Basically, the core of the system is a market server that is as generic as possible in a way that it supports the automated construction of electronic negotiation protocols. The construction is thereby based on the conceptual foundation of the Montreal Taxonomy. In its current release the core provides the negotiation process; but offers no normative insights how the construction should be done. Having in mind, the difficulties in market design the pure market server cannot assure sustained success.
This project aims at creating a market engineering
process and associated computer-aided tools to successfully guide market
engineers in their design tasks. A necessary step towards a normative
design is thus the development of a library that collects the scattered
information about (electronic) negotiation protocols and makes it accessible
for a market engineer in form of design patterns. The component pattern
library is represented as one of the hulls around the core in Figure 1.
However, with the pattern library the tool suite is not yet completed,
as the patterns show the communication flow but not when preferably to
use them. A decision support system should accordingly support the market
engineer in selecting the appropriate pattern. Another hull of the architecture
represents both, an experimental evaluation shell and an agent based simulation
environment, which is intended to evaluate the patterns by means of laboratory
experiments and simulations.
The gist about CAME is that its components are not bound to the e-FIT system, but can be used in all market engineering problems. For example the pattern library is independent of the system but can be coupled if necessary. It is, however, convenient to demonstrate the power of the CAME tool set in market engineering.
2. Pattern library for decentralized coordination & negotiation protocols
The online pattern library will contain an online glossary and a collection of frequently used design patterns for the solution of decentralized coordination / negotiation problems. This should enable researchers and practitioners to communicate effectively about particular protocols. The patterns are written from the point of view of a systems engineer, but draw on the results of other disciplines such as social choice theory, mechanism design theory or group decision and negotiation theory.
The project will deploy a generic schema for the description
of negotiation protocol patterns and provide a first collection of patterns
on the web. Project partners can provide new patterns, which can then
be easily added to the pattern library. A search facility should be provided
as well. The site can be linked with the e-negotiation project site.
A negotiation protocol design pattern contains: