Southampton takes stock

A SouthamptonUniversity team has won a competition to develop an automated trading agent which they believe could form the basis for an automated stock market.

Professor of Computer Science Nick Jennings led the team which won the Trading-Agent Competition (TAC) – CAT Tournament held in Toronto in July. The other team members were Dr Perukrishnen Vytelingum, Dr Ioannis Vetsikas and Dr Raj Dash. The team is now developing the automated stock market software further.

The aim of the competition was to create software that would effectively control a stock market populated by automated trading agents. This involved adjusting the market parameters, such as the cost of listings, the amount of information given out to traders and the fees charged, to create a more appealing market.

The Southampton team, IAMwildCAT, beat nine other teams to triumph. The overall outcome was judged based on how the competing markets increased their market share and profits, and the transaction success rate over a number of trading days.

‘There are now lots of different stock markets/exchanges around the world, many of which have shifted online,’ said Jennings. ‘All of these exchanges compete with one another for business and the one which works best with its different parameters will get the majority of the business. This was the case for Southampton in the CAT competition. We won because we adapted the terms and conditions of our exchange to respond favourably to changing market conditions.’