Antisocial agents and Vickrey auctions

Felix Brandt, Gerhard Weiß

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

31 Scopus citations


In recent years auctions have become more and more important in the field of multiagent systems as useful mechanisms for resource allocation and task assignment. In many cases the Vickrey (second-price sealed-bid) auction is used as a protocol that prescribes how the individual agents have to interact in order to come to an agreement. We show that the Vickrey auction, despite its theoretical benefits, is inappropriate if "antisocial" agents participate in the auction process. More specifically, an antisocial attitude for economic agents that makes reducing the profit of competitors their main goal besides maximizing their own profit is introduced. Under this novel condition, agents need to deviate from the dominant truth-telling strategy. This paper presents a strategy for bidders in repeated Vickrey auctions who are intending to inflict losses to fellow agents in order to be more successful, not in absolute measures, but relatively to the group of bidders. The strategy is evaluated in a simple task allocation scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntelligent Agents VIII
Subtitle of host publicationAgent Theories, Architectures, and Languages - 8th International Workshop, ATAL 2001, Revised Papers
EditorsJohn-Jules Ch. Meyer, Milind Tambe
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)3540438580, 9783540438588
StatePublished - 2002
Event8th International Workshop on Intelligent Agents VIII: Agent Theories, Architectures, and Languages, ATAL 2001 - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: 1 Aug 20013 Aug 2001

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume2333 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference8th International Workshop on Intelligent Agents VIII: Agent Theories, Architectures, and Languages, ATAL 2001
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA


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