Multi-agent travel planning through coalition and negotiation in an auction

Ming Chih Hsu, Paul Hsueh Min Chang, Yi Ming Wang, Von Won Soo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


In a travel scenario the travel agent often faces a situation: the users only provide their preferences on visiting destinations, while the visiting orders and the arrangements of transportations are left to the decision of the travel agent. Therefore the travel agent must find suitable (both efficient and economic) tracks for the users given their visiting destinations, different transportation services, constraints of users such as time, budget, and preferences. Although the service route map of each transportation company can be derived beforehand, the negotiable price information is often private. It is not feasible for a user or a travel planning agent to determine the total expense by simply summing up the list prices of all transportation track segments, and hence the selection of the most efficient track is also not possible. One way to find out the best route is to provide a mechanism for the transportation companies to form coalition and negotiate on the prices based on their own utilities and profit concerns. In this paper we propose a mechanism to solve the best tourist track problem. The mechanism includes a heuristic shortest path finding algorithm for a track graph and a track winner determination auction, called Z-auction, for track competition. We show how the travel planning problem can be solved through the multi-agent coalition and negotiation in the Z-auction under the multi-agent problem solving environment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntelligent Agents and Multi-Agent Systems
EditorsJaeho Lee, Mike Barley
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783540204602
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes
Event6th Pacific Rim International Workshop on Multi-Agents, PRIMA 2003 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 07 11 200308 11 2003

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference6th Pacific Rim International Workshop on Multi-Agents, PRIMA 2003
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003.


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