Security model for a multi-agent marketplace

Ashutosh Jaiswal, Yongdae Kim, Maria Gini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


A multi-agent marketplace, MAGNET (Multi AGent Negotiation Testbed), is a promising solution to conduct online combinatorial auctions. The trust model of MAGNET is somewhat different from other on-line auction systems: the mediated marketplace is a partially-trusted third party. In this paper, we identify the security vulnerabilities of MAGNET and present a solution that overcomes these weaknesses. Our solution makes use of three different existing technologies with other standard cryptographic techniques: publish/subscribe systems that provide simple and more general messaging, time-release cryptography to provide guaranteed nondisclosure of the bids, and anonymous communication to hide the identity of the bidders until the end of the auction. By doing so, we successfully minimize the trust on the market as well as increase the security of the whole system. The protocol that we have developed can be adapted for use by other agent-based auction systems, which use a third party to mediate transactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationACM International Conference Proceeding Series
EditorsN. Sadeh
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2003
Event5th International Conference on Electronic Commerce, ICEC '03 - Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Duration: Sep 30 2003Oct 3 2003


Other5th International Conference on Electronic Commerce, ICEC '03
CountryUnited States
CityPittsburgh, PA


  • electronic auctions
  • multi-agent systems
  • security

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