We are currently discussing the tournament structure for Power TAC, especially in light of the poor performance of CrocodileAgent in the 2017 competition. For those who participated or have looked carefully at the data, you know that this agent was setting its tariff prices too low to make money, so it got virtually all the customer subscriptions and then lost large amounts of money. The result was that a broker who did nothing would have won many of those games. Because of this, it's very hard to see how well the other brokers performed in games that included CrocodileAgent.
Our idea is to use the Qualifying round of the tournament a little more aggressively to weed out agents that are likely to "poison" the tournament data for other participants. We have come up with three criteria for disqualifying an agent in the qualifying round: (a) the agent is unable to participate consistently due to software bugs or network connectivity problems; (b) the agent's behavior results in in severe market distortions, such as underpricing its tariffs and consistently losing money in such a way that other brokers are shut out, although exploiting flaws in the design or implementation of the game is not grounds for disqualification; or (c) the agent fails to participate in any meaningful way, even though it stays connected. Note that we will be happy to work with teams during the qualifying round to address such problems, and will not disqualify agents if they are working and not causing problems by the end of the qualifying round.
Please give some thought to this proposal and let us know if you think they are fair and cover the cases that should disqualify an agent from the final competition round.