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February, 2004 Vol. 5.1

Editor's Note: Issue 5.1

This issue of SIGecom Exchanges includes four papers. The first paper addresses privacy issues in Vickrey auctions. The authors present a (non-cryptographic) protocol for a second price auction in which only the highest bidder's identity is revealed and only the second highest bid is revealed. No other bidders or bids are made public. In the second paper, a multi-party contract model is developed, and graph-theoretic techniques for detecting contract violations are presented. As an example, the author describes a multi-party car insurance case, which highlights the difficulties in detecting violations in multi-party contracts beyond simple bilateral contracts. The topic of the third paper is agent-based coalition formation in electronic markets. The authors analyze a dynamic process in which buyer agents move through a system of seller sitesdeciding whether to enter or exit coalitions. It is shown that the steady state of this process is unique, and that the global utility in this steady state increases with the number of participating buyer agents. The fourth paper presents the results of experiments with models of multiagent systems that incorporate both planning and markets. The authors present scenarios in which user carry mobile devices that help them make plans and buy and sell reservations in environments like amusement parks and hospitals.

Finally, one of the real highlights of this issue is a conference report on the Fifth ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC '04) held May 17-20 in New York City written by Dave Pennock. The detailed report describes the tutorials, the accepted papers, and the keynote address by Udi Manber. The quality of the presentations was outstanding, and not only is this summary worth reading, it is likely that it will inspire you to read the conference proceedings as well!

Enjoy,

    Amy Greenwald, Editor-in-Chief

Thu, Nov 18, 2004 Copyright, Association for Computing Machinery