When More is Better: Design Principles for Prediction Markets in Defense Acquisition Cost Forecasting

Report Number: NPS-AM-10-050

Series: Acquisition Management

Category: Prediction Markets

Report Series: Proceedings Paper

Authors: Taroon Aggarwal, Ricardo Valerdi, Matthew Potoski

Title: When More is Better: Design Principles for Prediction Markets in Defense Acquisition Cost Forecasting

Published: 2010-04-01

Sponsored By: Acquisition Research Program

Status: Published--Unlimited Distribution

Research Type: Other Research Faculty

Full Text URL: http://acquisitionresearch.net/files/FY2010/NPS-AM-10-050.pdf

Keywords: Prediction Markets

Abstract:

This paper discusses the applicability of prediction markets in Defense Acquisition projects, specifically in estimating their cost and schedule. Several temporal and political factors can sometimes limit the effectiveness of traditional methods of project tracking and cost estimation, which may be overcome by using prediction markets. A prediction market provides an environment for traders to buy and sell contracts whose values are tied to uncertain future events. Efficient prediction markets have been shown to outperform available polls and other forecasting mechanisms. There are various prediction markets based on different models and algorithms. Our focus is not to analyze these models, but to identify the design principles of implementing a proven prediction market model in a defense acquisition project. Some pilot studies have been carried out that provide insight into the behavior of the market participants. We found increased involvement of participants and greater interest in the projects to be major benefits. The areas that need to be considered in the design and implementation of markets are related to the participants (like, which traders to include); the information to be collected, or the stocks; the marketplace to be used; and the incentive structure to keep the participants motivated to trade.