Software agents make better commodities traders

from the buy-low-and-sell-high dept.
An item from the UK-based New Scientist Magazine reports on research by Jeffrey Kephart at IBM's research center in Hawthorne, NY, that indicates software-based trading agents may be better at trading commodities than humans. In IBM's test, both software-based robotic trading agents (bots) and people had the same set-up, allowing them to trade through an unbiased software-based auctioneer. The auction was designed to mimic the kind of commodities market where buyers and sellers have a fixed amount of time to trade in a single commodity. Six bots and six people traded against each other. Half were buyers and half were sellers. Buyers were given an upper spending limit, while sellers had a minimum sale price. Their goal was to maximise their profit at the end of trading. The software agents made seven per cent more cash than the humans.

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