In this paper, we evaluate whether the robustness of a market mechanism that allocates complementary resources could be improved through the aggregation of time periods in which resources are consumed. In particular, we study a multi-round combinatorial auction that is built on a general equilibrium framework. We adopt the general equilibrium framework and the particular combinatorial auction design from the literature, and we investigate the benefits and the limitation of time-period aggregation when demand-side uncertainties are introduced. By using simulation experiments on a real-life resource allocation problem from a container port, we show that, under stochastic conditions, the performance variation of the process decreases as the time frame length (time frames are obtained by aggregating time periods) increases. This is achieved without causing substantial deterioration in the mean performance. The main driver for the increase in robustness is that longer time frames result in allocations where resources are assigned in longer contiguous time blocks. The resulting resource continuity allows bidders to shift schedules upon realization of stochasticity. To demonstrate the generality of the notion that resource continuity increases allocation robustness, we perform further experiments on a decentralized variant of the classical job shop scheduling problem. The experiment results demonstrate similar benefits.
market-based resource allocation, uncertainty, auction, scheduling, robustness
Artificial Intelligence and Robotics | Business | Operations Research, Systems Engineering and Industrial Engineering
Intelligent Systems and Decision Analytics
Web Intelligence and Agent Systems
CHENG, Shih-Fen; Tajan, John; and LAU, Hoong Chuin.
Robust distributed scheduling via time period aggregation. (2012). Web Intelligence and Agent Systems. 10, (3), 305-318. Research Collection School Of Information Systems.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/sis_research/1600
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