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  • Imaras

    About Imaras

    Imaras© (InterNeg multi-attribute reverse auction system) is an online auction system powered by Invite©. It allows for the specification of preferences, assessment of offers, management of communication, graphical display of the auction's progress, and other functions. The system is flexible and can be used as:

    1. a game,
    2. a demonstration decision support system (DSS),
    3. a auction simulator,
    4. a demonstration auction support system, and
    5. a research and training tool.

    Using Imaras requires following a sound approach to auction. There are three basic phases of a auction:

    1. preparation,
    2. conduct of auction, and
    3. conclusion.

    Specific terms used in auction analysis and in Imaras are explained in our glossary.


    Five ways to use Imaras

    1. Game
      As a game, Imaras provides an opportunity to practice and sharpen your auctioning/bidding skills. For inexperienced auctioneers or bidders, Imaras's clear steps provide a guide through the auction process. For more experienced practitioners, the system allows the player to graphically track the development of the auction through numerous rounds of offers/bids. As an auctioneer or buyer, you may elaborate arguments for your position through the message facility.

    2. DSS for the pre-auction phase
      One of the key features of Imaras is that it can act as an individual decision support system. Before beginning the actual auction, players must consider the importance of each issue as well as the acceptability of each option within an issue. This forces the bidder to define her/his preferences over issues and to consider what trade-offs may be required. The system also presents estimates of the utility of the various combinations of options and overall utility of complete packages.

    3. Auction simulator
      Imaras can also act as a simulator to prepare you for a particular auction. The system is designed so that cases may be entered by users. When faced with an upcoming auction, the user can engage in mock auctions to understand how the issues may emerge once the auction has begun in earnest. One could even use Imaras to parallel an ongoing auction. After each bid or each round other bidders' bid could be entered to understand what progress, if any, is being made and what trade-offs are emerging.

    4. System for real-life auctions
      Imaras can also act as an NSS and support and facilitate real-life auctions. The system is designed so that several parties who can agree on the issues and the possible options for those issues can bid over the Web. This is an obvious advantage when the parties are widely separated and may have difficulty arranging meetings.

    5. Research and training tool
      Finally, Imaras has an international dimension. The current implementation of the system links players from around the world. This reflects the current reality of economic organizations. Through Imaras users can study and practice auction involving people from diverse cultures to help understand how different values and expectations may influence the auction process.

    Using Imaras

    There are three basic phases that are usually followed in any auction: