AIS Seminar at Kings College London 24/2/15

I’m in London at the moment, visiting Gareth Peters at UCL to think about alpha-stable random variables and their applications. Tomorrow, I’m also presenting in the Agents and Intelligent Systems Seminar at Kings College London (see the link for location and time). The details are:

Title: From Taxis to Uber: Market Design for On-Demand Transport Services

Abstract: Uber is one of several recent companies adopting a business model that lies in stark contrast with the standard approach used by taxi services–evidenced by the highly publicized legal difficulties. Underlying Uber’s business model is a new architecture, which governs how commuters, drivers, and the company interact with each other. In order to understand key properties of this new architecture, we introduce an agent-based model and propose a market mechanism that routes, schedules, and prices commuters, while also selecting and paying drivers. We analyze the mechanism and demonstrate the effect of varying passenger types and side information available to the company affects the profitability of the service. We then compare the performance of our approach with a mechanism based on the standard taxi architecture via simulations using realistic demand and location data from Prague, Czech Republic.


ATG Seminar 18/2/15

Next Wednesday I will be presenting a seminar in the Agent Technology Center Seminar Series.

Title: Pass Go and Collect $200: The Profitable Union of Facilities and Small-Cells

Room: E-205, Department of Computer Science, CVUT (this is located at Karlovo Namesti, see

When: Wed, 18th Feb, 14:30

Abstract: Wireless cellular communication networks are undergoing a major shift: from traditional macrocell based architectures to small-cells. A key consequence of this shift is that there is potential for facilities (such as universities, mines and power plants) to own and operate their own wireless cellular networks. In this talk, I will argue that there are good economic reasons to do this, and propose leasing and service agreements to support these facility micronetworks. I will then introduce an evaluation framework based on ruin theory, where the key metric is the probability of ruin; i.e., the probability that the net profit drops below zero. I will also present new results and a methodology for evaluating the probability of ruin in this setting, which paves the way towards a business case for facility micronetworks and an understanding of how wireless network and financial considerations interact.