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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 At Second International Workshop on Optimisation in Multi-Agent Systems (OptMas), Hungary.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


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.

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Published date: May 2009
Additional Information: Event Dates: 11 May 2009
Venue - Dates: Second International Workshop on Optimisation in Multi-Agent Systems (OptMas), Hungary, 2009-05-11
Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity


Local EPrints ID: 267250
PURE UUID: 10c0bf9c-1344-4e99-b669-9d01da2f2a3c

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Date deposited: 03 Apr 2009 10:25
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 07:06

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Author: Sebastian Stein
Author: Enrico Gerding
Author: Alex C. Rogers
Author: Kate Larson
Author: Nicholas R. Jennings

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