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English Auction Applet

Recent information

17-Jul-2002 Version 1.0 of the English Auction applet was uploaded.

General rules

The English auction applet is an Internet computerized implementation of an English auction. An English auction is one of the oldest forms of auctions. It is characterized by its open bid format (every bidder is aware of the other participants’ bids) and the increasing bids that are posted by the auction participants.

The current implementation of the auction includes more features such as:

(1)   A minimal bid.

(2)   A fixed predefined bid increment.

The product sold in the auction is displayed to the bidders. Every bidder is allowed to place bids providing their bid exceeds both the minimal bid and the current high bid by the predefined bid increment displayed on the screen.

The product is sold to the bidder who placed the highest bid when the auction ends, and this player will pay according to his/her bid.  


Screen structure

The auction screen is constructed of several sub-windows that displays various pieces of data to the player. Part of this information may be presented to participants during the auction.

The following figure is a screen shot of the auction applet:


 eng1.jpg (57433 bytes)


The proxy window

The upper left window is the proxy window, which describes the bidders in the bidding room in a radar like layout. The proxy idea is based on: Erickson, T., Halverson, C., Kellogg, W. A., Laff, M., Wolf, T. (2001). Social Translucence: Designing Social Infrastructures that Make Collective Activity Visible.

The bounding circle represents the bidding room. Bidders that are first just joining the room, i.e watching but not yet contributing, are represented by color dots outside the circle. When a bidder posts a bid, his/her dots moves from the outside into the circle. Higher bids are displayed closer to the center of the room. Each bidder has a “bidding path” (angle) from the outside to the middle of the room. When the bidder places a new bid, his/hers dot is moved on the path towards the middle of the room. Other dots are rearranged according the new high bid. The player itself (you) is represented using a red dot. Your bidding path is vertical from the top of the circle towards the middle.

When a bidder does not respond for more than 30 seconds, the bidder's dot changes into a small gray circle and an indication is given to all the participants in the message line. Other indications are given when:

(1) A new high bid is posted.

(2) When a new participant arrives.

The red circle in the middle of the bidding room represents the clock - the time remaining for the auction. The clock circle is initially empty. As the auction time passes it is painted red. When the auction ends, no more bidding is allowed and an indication is given to the player.

The bidding window

The player can post bids by entering the bid in the bottom field (which is the only field available for activation). The player can only raise the bid by the amount specified in the instructions above the bidding field provided that the bid is higher than the minimal bid and from the current high bid.


Auction information

The upper middle window displays information about the auction. It includes the following data:

(1)      Auction start time.

(2)      Auction end time.

(3)      Last update time.

(4)      Number of products that are sold on this auction.

(5)      Previous number of bidders and interested web surfers that visited the auction. Part of them participated in the auction and part did not (they were only watching the auction).

(6)      List of the five highest bids arranged in descending order.


Participants’ information

The lower left window displays information about the other bidders. This information is gathered by the auction system during previous auctions. The information is displayed only for the current bidders (active in the auction) and that are recognized by the auction system. The information includes:

(1)      Bidders’ names.

(2)      Bidders’ pictures.

(3)      Bidders’ interest reason: Business or Private.

(4)      Bidders’ winning history in our auction system (number of auctions that the bidder already won).

(5)      Bidders’ bidding behavior: Amateur or Professional.

(6)      Bidders’ interest in this current auction: Low, Medium or high.


Product information

Information about the product that is sold in this auction is displayed both in a figure with a title that is displayed in the upper right window and in the lower middle window. This window presents additional information about the product that is gathered during the auction and that might be relevant to the bidders.



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This page is maintained by: Avi Noy
Last updated: 19-Jul-2002