Institute for Software Research
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


CMieux: Adaptive Strategies for
Competitive Suppy Chain Trading

Michael Benisch, Alberto Sardinha,
James Andrews, Norman Sadeh

August 2008


Keywords: Automated trading, supply chain management, trading agent competition, procurement, e-commerce

Supply chains are a central element of today's global economy. Existing management practices consist primarily of static interactions between established partners. Global competition, shorter product life cycles and the emergence of Internet-mediated business solutions create an incentive for exploring more dynamic supply chain practices. The Supply Chain Trading Agent Competition (TAC SCM) was designed to explore approaches to dynamic supply chain trading between automated software agents. TAC SCM pits against one another trading agents developed by teams from around the world. Each agent is responsible for running the procurement, planning and bidding operations of a PC assembly company, while competing with others for both customer orders and supplies under varying market conditions. This paper presents Carnegie Mellon University's 2005 TAC SCM entry, the CMieux supply chain trading agent. CMieux implements a novel approach for coordinating supply chain bidding, procurement and planning, with an emphasis on the ability to rapidly adapt to changing market conditions. We present empirical results based on 200 games involving agents entered by 25 different teams during what can be seen as the most competitive phase of the 2005 tournament. Not only did CMieux perform among the top five agents, it significantly outperformed these agents in procurement while matching their bidding performance. We also simulated 40 games against the best publicly available agent binaries. Our results show CMieux has significantly better average overall performance than any of these agents.

30 pages

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