Configurable offers and winner determination in multi-attribute auctions

Martin Bichler, Jayant Kalagnanam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


The theory of procurement auctions traditionally assumes that the offered quantity and quality is fixed prior to source selection. Multi-attribute reverse auctions allow negotiation over price and qualitative attributes such as color, weight, or delivery time. They promise higher market efficiency through a more effective information exchange of buyer's preferences and supplier's offerings. This paper focuses on a number of winner determination problems in multi-attribute auctions. Previous work assumes that multi-attribute bids are described as attribute value pairs and that the entire demand is purchased from a single supplier. Our contribution is twofold: First, we will analyze the winner determination problem in case of multiple sourcing. Second, we will extend the concept of multi-attribute auctions to allow for configurable offers. Configurable offers enable suppliers to specify multiple values and price markups for each attribute. In addition, suppliers can define configuration and discount rules in form of propositional logic statements. These extensions provide suppliers with more flexibility in the specification of their bids and allow for an efficient information exchange among market participants. We will present MIP formulations for the resulting allocation problems and an implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-394
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 16 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Configurable offers
  • Integer programming
  • Multiattribute bids
  • Utility theory
  • Winner determination


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