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Design of Multiunit Electronic Exchanges Through Decomposition

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2 Author(s)
Pankaj Dayama ; Gen. Motors India Sci. Lab, Bangalore ; Y. Narahari

In this paper, we exploit the idea of decomposition to match buyers and sellers in an electronic exchange for trading large volumes of homogeneous goods, where the buyers and sellers specify marginal-decreasing piecewise constant price curves to capture volume discounts. Such exchanges are relevant for automated trading in many e-business applications. The problem of determining winners and Vickrey prices in such exchanges is known to have a worst-case complexity equal to that of as many as (1+m+n) NP-hard problems, where m is the number of buyers and n is the number of sellers. Our method proposes the overall exchange problem to be solved as two separate and simpler problems: 1) forward auction and 2) reverse auction, which turns out to be generalized knapsack problems. In the proposed approach, we first determine the quantity of units to be traded between the sellers and the buyers using fast heuristics developed by us. Next, we solve a forward auction and a reverse auction using fully polynomial time approximation schemes available in the literature. The proposed approach has worst-case polynomial time complexity and our experimentation shows that the approach produces good quality solutions to the problem. Note to Practitioners- In recent times, electronic marketplaces have provided an efficient way for businesses and consumers to trade goods and services. The use of innovative mechanisms and algorithms has made it possible to improve the efficiency of electronic marketplaces by enabling optimization of revenues for the marketplace and of utilities for the buyers and sellers. In this paper, we look at single-item, multiunit electronic exchanges. These are electronic marketplaces where buyers submit bids and sellers ask for multiple units of a single item. We allow buyers and sellers to specify volume discounts using suitable functions. Such exchanges are relevant for high-volume business-to-business trading of standard products, such as silicon wafers, very larg- e-scale integrated chips, desktops, telecommunications equipment, commoditized goods, etc. The problem of determining winners and prices in such exchanges is known to involve solving many NP-hard problems. Our paper exploits the familiar idea of decomposition, uses certain algorithms from the literature, and develops two fast heuristics to solve the problem in a near optimal way in worst-case polynomial time

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 1 )