Evolutionary market agents for resource allocation in decentralised systems

Peter R. Lewis, Paul Marrow, Xin Yao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


We introduce self-interested evolutionary market agents, which act on behalf of service providers in a large decentralised system, to adaptively price their resources over time. Our agents competitively co-evolve in the live market, driving it towards the Bertrand equilibrium, the non-cooperative Nash equilibrium, at which all sellers charge their reserve price and share the market equally. We demonstrate that this outcome results in even load-balancing between the service providers. Our contribution in this paper is twofold; the use of on-line competitive co-evolution of self-interested service providers to drive a decentralised market towards equilibrium, and a demonstration that load-balancing behaviour emerges under the assumptions we describe. Unlike previous studies on this topic, all our agents are entirely self-interested; no cooperation is assumed. This makes our problem a non-trivial and more realistic one.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationParallel Problem Solving from Nature - PPSN X
Subtitle of host publication10th international conference Dortmund, Germany, September 13-17, 2008 proceedings
Place of PublicationBerlin (DE)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-540-87700-4
ISBN (Print)3-540-87699-5, 978-3-540-87699-1
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Event10th International Conference on Parallel Problem Solving from Nature - Dortmund, Germany
Duration: 13 Sept 200817 Sept 2008

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference10th International Conference on Parallel Problem Solving from Nature
Abbreviated titlePPSN-X


  • co-evolution
  • decentralised systems
  • load-balancing
  • market-based control
  • self-interested agents


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