Michael Wellman Selected for IFAAMAS Influential Paper Award for 2012

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Prof. Michael Wellman

Professor Michael P. Wellman has been chosen to receive the 2012 IFAAMAS Influential Paper Award for his 1993 paper describing a market-oriented programming approach to distributed problem solving, which was published in the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research. Professor Wellman will be presented with the award in June at the annual AAMAS Conference to be held this year in Valencia, Spain.

This award is given each year by the International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (IFAAMAS) in recognition of a paper published at least 10 years ago, in the area of Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, that has had significant and lasting impact on the field. Such papers represent the best and most influential work in the area of autonomous agents and multi-agent systems. These papers might, therefore, have proved a key result, led to the development of a new sub-field, demonstrated a significant new application or system, or simply presented a new way of thinking about a topic that has proved influential.

The paper, “A Market-Oriented Programming Environment and its Application to Distributed Multicommodity Flow Problems,” established market-oriented programming as a paradigm for solving multiagent resource allocation problems, and spurred the rapid and widespread study of the design of auctions as mechanisms for solving complex multiagent problems. This paper is a direct precursor to the highly influential Trading Agent Competitions, and more broadly to many currently active areas in agent and multiagent research including mechanism design, strategic reasoning methods, and incentive-centered systems.

Michael P. Wellman is Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and a member of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in the Department. For the past 20 years, his research has focused on computational market mechanisms for distributed decision making and electronic commerce, and he has recently authored a book on trading agents for electronic markets. As Chief Market Technologist for TradingDynamics, Inc. (now part of Ariba), he designed configurable auction technology for dynamic business-to-business commerce. Wellman previously served as Chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Electronic Commerce (SIGecom), and as Executive Editor of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research. He is a Fellow of AAAI and ACM.