A multi-agent platform for auction-based allocation of loads in transportation logistics

Valentin Robu*, Han Noot, Han La Poutré, Willem Jan Van Schijndel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes an agent-based platform for the allocation of loads in distributed transportation logistics, developed as a collaboration between CWI, Dutch National Center for Mathematics and Computer Science, Amsterdam and Vos Logistics Organizing, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. The platform follows a real business scenario proposed by Vos, and it involves a set of agents bidding for transportation loads to be distributed from a central depot in the Netherlands to different locations across Germany. The platform supports both human agents (i.e. transportation planners), who can bid through specialized planning and bidding interfaces, as well as automated, software agents. We exemplify how the proposed platform can be used to test both the bidding behaviour of human logistics planners, as well as the performance of automated auction bidding strategies, developed for such settings. The paper first introduces the business problem setting and then describes the architecture and main characteristics of our auction platform. We conclude with a preliminary discussion of our experience from a human bidding experiment, involving Vos planners competing for orders both against each other and against some (simple) automated strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3483-3491
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Auction platforms
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Multi-agent systems
  • Software platform
  • Supply chain management
  • Transportation logistics


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