A Multi-Attribute Auction Mechanism based on Conditional Constraints and Conditional Qualitative Preferences
Auctioning multi-dimensional items is a key challenge, which requires rigorous tools. This study proposes a multi-round, first-score, semi-sealed multi-attribute reverse auction system. A fundamental concern in multiattribute auctions is acquiring a useful description of the buyers’ individuated requirements: hard constraints and qualitative preferences. To consider real requirements, we express dependencies among attributes. Indeed, our system enables buyers eliciting conditional constraints as well as conditional preferences. However, determining the winner with diverse criteria may be very time consuming. Therefore, it is more useful for our auction to process quantitative data. A challenge here is to satisfy buyers with more facilities, and at the same time keep the auctions efficient. To meet this challenge, our system maps the qualitative preferences into a multi-criteria decision rule. It also completely automates the winner determination since it is a very difficult task for buyers to estimate quantitatively the attribute weights and define attributes value functions. Our procurement auction looks for the outcome that satisfies all the constraints and best matches the preferences. We demonstrate the feasibility and measure the time performance of the proposed system through a 10-attribute auction. Finally, we assess the user acceptance of our requirements specification and winner selection tool.