Electronic Commerce: From Economic and Game Theoretic Models to Working Protocols

Moshe Tennenholtz
Israel Institute of Technology


The design of protocols for non-cooperative computational environments (e.g. Internet Auctions) is a major challenge for electronic commerce. In order to address this challenge we should tackle several complementary tasks: 1. Re-consider economic mechanisms in view of their use in computational settings. 2. Incorporate distributed systems features into the context of game-theoretic and economic models. 3. Deal with computational aspects of mechanism design. In this talk we present a (biased) overview of some of the work carried out on these tasks. In particular, we will consider the effects of having many participants, risk elements, and competition among sellers in the Internet setup, on the study of auctions. In addition, we consider the effects of the communication network and the asynchronous nature of distributed systems on the implementation and analysis of various economic mechanisms. Some results about the computational treatment of economic mechanisms will be mentioned as well.

About the Speaker

Moshe Tennenholtz received his B.Sc. in Mathematics from Tel-Aviv University (1986), and his M.Sc. and Ph.D (1987,1991) from the department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science in Weizmann Institute. He spent one year as a post-doctoral research affiliate, and one year as a research associate at the Robotics Laboratory of the Computer Science Department at Stanford University. In 1993 he joined the faculty of industrial engineering and management at the Technion-- Israel Institute of Technology. His work is concerned with the foundations of multi-agent systems. In particular, in joint work with colleagues and students he introduced and developed theories of artificial social systems, co-learning, and qualitative decision-making. His recent line of research is concerned with the adaptation of economic models to computerized/AI settings.
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