Skip to Main Content
Software agents are increasingly being used to represent humans in online auctions. Such agents have the advantages of being able to systematically monitor a wide variety of auctions and then make rapid decisions about what bids to place in what auctions. They can do this continuously and repetitively without losing concentration. To provide a means of evaluating and comparing (benchmarking) research methods in this area the trading agent competition (TAC) was established. This competition involves a number of agents bidding against one another in a number of related auctions (operating different protocols) to purchase travel packages for customers. Against this background, this paper describes the design, implementation and evaluation of SouthamptonTAC, one of the most successful participants in both the Second and the Third International Competitions. Our agent uses fuzzy techniques at the heart of its decision making: to make bidding decisions in the face of uncertainty, to make predictions about the likely outcomes of auctions, and to alter the agent's bidding strategy in response to the prevailing market conditions.