Annals of Operations Research

, Volume 168, Issue 1, pp 291–305

Designing sniping agents


  • Chuan-Hoo Tan
    • Department of Information SystemsCity University of Hong Kong
  • Hock-Hai Teo
    • Department of Information SystemsNational University of Singapore
    • School of ManagementXi’an Jiaotong University
  • Yuan Li
    • School of ManagementXi’an Jiaotong University

DOI: 10.1007/s10479-008-0366-6

Cite this article as:
Tan, C., Teo, H., Xie, E. et al. Ann Oper Res (2009) 168: 291. doi:10.1007/s10479-008-0366-6


Sniping agents are increasingly being deployed to assist bidders in acquiring items in online auctions. This paper reviews the extant auction literature and proposes an overarching sniping agent design framework that could potentially increase the commercial viability of snipping agents. For better alignment between the functions of sniping agents and the needs of human bidders, we review existing literature based on three fundamentals: (1) knowledge about human bidder behavior, (2) awareness of the product(s) desired by a bidder, and (3) an understanding of the research on bidding agents and auction design. The output of this review is the explicit consideration of iterative combinatorial auction agent design, fuzzy set representation of the bidder’s preferences and dynamic derivation of bidding strategies according to the progress of ongoing auctions.


Online auctionsSniping agentHeuristics
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008