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Mechanism Design for Task Procurement with Flexible Quality of Service

Mechanism Design for Task Procurement with Flexible Quality of Service
Mechanism Design for Task Procurement with Flexible Quality of Service
In this paper, we consider the problem where an agent wishes to complete a single computational task, but lacks the required resources. Instead, it must contract self-interested service providers, who are able to flexibly manipulate the quality of service they deliver, in order to maximise their own utility. We extend an existing model to allow for multiple such service providers to be contracted for the same task, and derive optimal task procurement mechanisms in the setting where the agent has full knowledge of the cost functions of these service providers (considering both simultaneous and sequential procurement). We then extend these results to the incomplete information setting where the agent must elicit cost information from the service providers, and we characterise a family of incentive-compatible and individually-rational mechanisms. We show empirically that sequential procurement always generates greater utility for the agent compared to simultaneous procurement, and that over a range of settings, contracting multiple providers is preferable to contracting just one.
978-3-642-10738-2
12-23
Springer
Gerding, Enrico
d9e92ee5-1a8c-4467-a689-8363e7743362
Larson, Kate
e180cd56-8fad-4e90-8e0c-00bd832ab254
Rogers, Alex
f9130bc6-da32-474e-9fab-6c6cb8077fdc
Jennings, Nick
ab3d94cc-247c-4545-9d1e-65873d6cdb30
Kowalczyk, R.
Vo, Q.B.
Maamar, Z.
Huhns, M.
Gerding, Enrico
d9e92ee5-1a8c-4467-a689-8363e7743362
Larson, Kate
e180cd56-8fad-4e90-8e0c-00bd832ab254
Rogers, Alex
f9130bc6-da32-474e-9fab-6c6cb8077fdc
Jennings, Nick
ab3d94cc-247c-4545-9d1e-65873d6cdb30
Kowalczyk, R.
Vo, Q.B.
Maamar, Z.
Huhns, M.

Gerding, Enrico, Larson, Kate, Rogers, Alex and Jennings, Nick (2009) Mechanism Design for Task Procurement with Flexible Quality of Service. In, Kowalczyk, R., Vo, Q.B., Maamar, Z. and Huhns, M. (eds.) Lecture Notes in Computer Science Volume 5907. Springer, pp. 12-23.

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

In this paper, we consider the problem where an agent wishes to complete a single computational task, but lacks the required resources. Instead, it must contract self-interested service providers, who are able to flexibly manipulate the quality of service they deliver, in order to maximise their own utility. We extend an existing model to allow for multiple such service providers to be contracted for the same task, and derive optimal task procurement mechanisms in the setting where the agent has full knowledge of the cost functions of these service providers (considering both simultaneous and sequential procurement). We then extend these results to the incomplete information setting where the agent must elicit cost information from the service providers, and we characterise a family of incentive-compatible and individually-rational mechanisms. We show empirically that sequential procurement always generates greater utility for the agent compared to simultaneous procurement, and that over a range of settings, contracting multiple providers is preferable to contracting just one.

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Published date: 2009
Additional Information: Chapter: 1
Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 271160
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/271160
ISBN: 978-3-642-10738-2
PURE UUID: ece1b5a5-6b32-4fd3-a372-17ea51b0139d
ORCID for Enrico Gerding: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7200-552X

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Date deposited: 25 May 2010 16:30
Last modified: 07 Jun 2019 00:34

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Contributors

Author: Enrico Gerding ORCID iD
Author: Kate Larson
Author: Alex Rogers
Author: Nick Jennings
Editor: R. Kowalczyk
Editor: Q.B. Vo
Editor: Z. Maamar
Editor: M. Huhns

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