Parallel Problem Solving from Nature – PPSN X

Volume 5199 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 1071-1080

Evolutionary Market Agents for Resource Allocation in Decentralised Systems

  • Peter R. LewisAffiliated withUniversity of Birmingham
  • , Paul MarrowAffiliated withUniversity of BirminghamBT Group plc
  • , Xin YaoAffiliated withUniversity of Birmingham

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


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.


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