Flexible Procurement of Services with Uncertain Durations

Stein, Sebastian, Gerding, Enrico, Rogers, Alex C., Larson, Kate and Jennings, Nicholas R. (2009) Flexible Procurement of Services with Uncertain Durations. In, Second International Workshop on Optimisation in Multi-Agent Systems (OptMas), Budapest, Hungary,


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Emerging service-oriented technologies allow software agents to automatically procure distributed services to complete complex tasks. However, in many application scenarios, service providers demand financial remuneration, execution times are uncertain and consumers have deadlines for their tasks. In this paper, we address these issues by developing a novel approach that dynamically procures multiple, redundant services over time, in order to ensure success by the deadline. Specifically, we first present an algorithm for finding optimal procurement solutions, as well as a heuristic algorithm that achieves over 99% of the optimal and is capable of handling thousands of providers. Using experiments, we show that these algorithms achieve an improvement of up to 130% over current strategies that procure only single services. Finally, we consider settings where service costs are not known to the consumer, and introduce several mechanisms that incentivise providers to reveal their costs truthfully and that still achieve up to 95% efficiency.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Event Dates: 11 May 2009
Divisions : Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering > Electronics and Computer Science > Agents, Interactions & Complexity
ePrint ID: 267250
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
May 2009Published
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2009 10:25
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:14
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/267250

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