Pushing the Limits of Rational Agents: The Trading Agent Competition for Supply Chain Management

  • John Collins University of Minnesota
  • Wolfgang Ketter Erasmus University
  • Norman Sadeh Carnegie Mellon University
Keywords: Supply Chain Management, Agent Architectures, Empirical Game Theory, Economic Market Modeling, Stochastic Optimization, Online learning, reasoning under uncertainty


Over the years, competitions have been important catalysts for progress in Artificial Intelligence. We describe one such competition, the Trading Agent Competition for Supply Chain Management (TAC SCM). We discuss its significance in the context of today’s global market economy as well as AI research, the ways in which it breaks away from limiting assumptions made in prior work, and some of the advances it has engendered over the past six years. TAC SCM requires autonomous supply chain entities, modeled as agents, to coordinate their internal operations while concurrently trading in multiple dynamic and highly competitive markets. Since its introduction in 2003, the competition has attracted over 150 entries and brought together researchers from AI and beyond in the form of 75 competing teams from 25 different countries.

Author Biographies

John Collins, University of Minnesota

Assistant Professor, Computer Science Dept.

Wolfgang Ketter, Erasmus University

Assistant Professor
Rotterdam School of Management

Norman Sadeh, Carnegie Mellon University

School of Computer Science