The University of Southampton

Market-Based Control of Complex Computational Systems

Agent Based Computing, E-Business Technologies, Decentralised Information Systems, Artificial Life

The marketplace is a dynamic place, in which the participants trade their goods and services with an intention to maximise their own utilities. Through such trading highly efficient resource allocations can be attained in dynamic and uncertain environments.

Against this background, this EPSRC funded project (in the Novel Computation call) intends to apply market-based paradigms to the design, control and evolution of complex distributed computational systems. The targetted applications include resource allocation in utility data centres, decentralised control of content delivery and multiple robotic systems. It is a collaboration between several leading UK universities, specialised in economic mechanism design, multi-agent systems and evolutionary computation. Our main role in this project is to devise the participant strategies in response to the resource constraints and the chosen market mechanism. The interactions between various agents, the behaviours that emerge and the approaches to the selection of strategies will also be examined.

Primary investigator

Secondary investigators


  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Birmingham
  • Hewlett Packard Research Labs
  • BAE Systems
  • BT Research Labs

Associated research groups

  • Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia Group
  • Information: Signals, Images, Systems Research Group
  • Agents, Interaction and Complexity
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