Power TAC is a challenging environment with many real-world characteristics and high urgency. This makes it an exciting and important research area. At the same time, it is the most demanding and complex TAC platform to date. The qualification rounds at AAMAS this year and the tournament games last week have helped us to improve and fine-tune the Power TAC simulation server and its tournament-management framework. Your active and thoughtful participation and feedback is helping us to make Power TAC stable and robust; it is a real community project and and we thank you for that.
Since Power TAC is a research platform and we need to be able to rely on the results, we have decided to run several more test tournaments between now and next year summer. The first “official” Power TAC tournament will be held in July 2013, co-located with the AAAI conference in Bellevue, Washington. We have talked to several participating teams, and this approach has been warmly welcomed. This will give many chances for the teams to thoroughly test their brokers, and at the same time give us, the platform developers, a chance to finalize a stable, robust, and thoroughly tested version of the server and tournament manager. This way, we can expect Power TAC 2013 to be fair, interesting, and impactful, with all the surprises coming from interesting broker behaviors. Further, new and existing teams will be able to thoroughly test their work against the tournament platform and against each other well before next year’s competition Of course, we should expect that not all the finest agent code will have been exposed before then.
We will inform you about upcoming trial competitions at least two weeks ahead of time. Tentatively, two of them will be held in conjunction with the IEEE Conference on Smart Grid Technology, Economics and Policies (www.sg-tep.org) in Nuremberg, 3-4 December 2012, and the Erasmus Energy Forum (www.rsm.nl/energy), 21 June 2013.