A grey-box approach to automated mechanism design

J Niu, K Cai, S Parsons, M Fasli, Xin Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an approach to automated mechanism design in the domain of double auctions. We describe a novel parameterized space of double auctions, and then introduce an evolutionary search method that searches this space of parameters. The approach evaluates auction mechanisms using the framework of the TAC Market Design Game and relates the performance of the markets in that game to their constituent parts using reinforcement learning. Experiments show that the strongest mechanisms we found using this approach not only win the Market Design Game against known, strong opponents, but also exhibit desirable economic properties when they run in isolation. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-35
Number of pages12
JournalElectronic Commerce Research and Applications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • CAT game
  • Trading agent competition
  • Mechanism design
  • Double auction
  • Agent-based computational economics


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