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A product of artificial intelligence which, with the appropriate instructions and adjustments, can mediate electronically between the buyer and the seller and choose the best option for the user, was created by the Mertacor team of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) and won the first prize at the annual Trading Agent Competition (Trading Agent Competition - TAC 2010) of the University of Harvard.

The competition was about "software agents”, sophisticated software programs with advanced decision making and communication capabilities, specifically designed to commune in the stock market and generally on the internet, in the best way possible.

The Mertacor agent was developed specifically for the needs of the competition. However its coding can change in order to be used in the actual market.

A Harvard University award to the research team from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki


The name “Mertacor” comes from the Latin word Mercator, which means trader. The Greek scientists created an intelligent software program which may be useful in every day life.

The user defines the characteristics of what he/she is looking for, e.g. an information or a product, and the agent, in a short period of time, provides the answer based on data requested. However, this it goes beyond that. It can be used as a negotiator, replacing an actual person, during an electronic auction. It has got the ability to make decisions and act for the owner based on his/her ideas and preferences.

Its commercial application can be spotted in electronic transactions e.g. in trade, in auctions or e-procurement, where many people are involved and there are many data. The software can handle these situations more easily and more effectively than a man. The more the data is the system’s memory the more effective it gets. This works as a simulation of human experience. Furthermore, the big advantage is its ability to process large amounts of data and surf the Internet very quickly. In a more elaborated stage, it can ‘be learning’, to a certain extent, the preferences of its owner and make autonomous decisions and execute commands.


The "Mertacor" team of AUTH participated in the annual Trading Agent Competition (TAC-2010) of Harvard University with corresponding publications of the same agent and received the following distinctions:

1st place in the TAC Market Design competition for the Design and Optimization Electronic Markets,

3rd place in the TAC Ad Auction competition for Online Advertising Auctions,

6th place in the TAC Supply Chain Management competition for Supply Chain Management.



Pericles A. Mitkas, Professor of School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Team leader.

Lampros Stavrogiannis, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Postgraduate Student at University of Southampton.

Andreas Simeonidis, Lecturer of School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Kyriakos Chatzidimitriou, Post– doctoral Candidate of School of Electrical and Computer Engineering