Decommitment is the action of foregoing a previous contract for another (superior) offer. It has been shown that, using decommitment, agents can reach higher utility levels in case of negotiations with uncertainty about future prospects. In this paper, we study the decommitment concept for the novel setting of a large-scale logistics setting with multiple, competing companies. Orders for transportation of loads are acquired by agents of the (competing) companies by bidding in parallel auctions. We find significant increases in profit when the agents can decommit and postpone the transportation of a load to a more suitable time. Furthermore, we analyze the circumstances for which decommitment has a positive impact if agents (trucks) are capable of handling multiple contracts simultaneously.

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Software Engineering [SEN]
Intelligent and autonomous systems

't Hoen, P. J., van Bragt, D. D. B., & La Poutré, H. (2002). Bidding with decommitment in a multi-agent transportation model. Software Engineering [SEN]. CWI.