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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/T10657/01
Title: Market Based Control of Complex Computational Systems
Principal Investigator: Wooldridge, Professor M
Other Investigators:
McBurney, Professor P
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Mr S phelps
Project Partners:
BAE Systems BT Hewlett Packard
IBM
Department: Computer Science
Organisation: University of Liverpool
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 October 2004 Ends: 31 March 2010 Value (£): 684,598
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Mathematical Aspects of OR Networks & Distributed Systems
New & Emerging Comp. Paradigms
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Information Technologies Financial Services
Related Grants:
GR/T10664/01 GR/T10671/01
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
This project aims to develop and apply novel market-based methods to the design, management, evolution and control of complex, distributed computational systems. To do so, it will bring together a multi-disciplinary team with expertise covering multi-agent systems, economic theory, evolutionary computation, and adaptive systems.Market-based methods view computational systems as virtual environments, akin to marketplaces, in which participants are economic agents interacting through some form of distributed decision mechanism. Although decision-making by these agents is only local, economics and evolutionary theory provide means to generate and predict desirable system-level properties. Thus, marketbased methods have potential application to many distributed computational systems.We believe that the techniques developed in this project will alter fundamentally the way in which distributed systems are designed, used and managed. This expectation is shared by the leading industrial participants supporting this proposal who have all recognized this promise. The potential of market mechanisms for controlling complex computing systems is a relatively recent phenomenon, and designers of distributed systems using such methods currently require the assistance of an expert game theorist or economist. This creates a resource bottleneck if these methods are to be widely deployed. In addition, current theories cannot adequately cover the dynamics of these systems as they evolve through time.Against this background, our long-term goal is no less than Automated Mechanism Design (AMD), the automation of interaction mechanism design and the automation of strategy-selection for participants in distributed computational systems. We believe this bold objective is ultimately achievable, and the current project represents a sound, feasible but nonetheless ambitious first step towards this goal.
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.liv.ac.uk