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Re: markets and global communication

From: Jonathan S. Shapiro
Subject: Re: markets and global communication
Date: Mon, 07 Nov 2005 09:43:23 -0500

On Mon, 2005-11-07 at 11:29 +0100, Neal H. Walfield wrote:
> At Sat, 05 Nov 2005 12:49:46 -0500,
> Jonathan S. Shapiro wrote:
> >   4. Because market-based mechanisms rely on global communication, they
> >      constitute a global communication channel.
> Can you clarify this a bit more.  How do market-based mechanisms rely
> on global communication?  My understanding of the power of markets is
> that they are useful becuase they precisely don't require global
> communication to find acceptable solutions.  Scott H. Clearwater
> states in the introduction to "Market-Based Control: A Paradigm for
> Distributed Resource Allocation:"

Clearwater doesn't grok markets very well if he believes this. What
Clearwater neglects is that the market itself is a communicating agent.
Therefore, between any two parties A and B in a market, there is a
communication channel involving at most two steps.

To illustrate: by varying my demand, given knowledge of the market
resolution algorithm, I can predictably induce rebalancing requests that
will be delivered to you. Two parties collaborating in this way have a
strikingly effective means of communication.


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