Emergence of power-law behaviors in online auctions

  • B. Kahng
  • I. Yang
  • H. Jeong
  • A.-L. Barabási
Conference paper


We downloaded all online-auction bidding histories closing on a single day on eBay, including 264,073 auctioned items, involved by 384,058 distinct agents, finding emerging behaviors in electronic biddings. The data analysis indicates that the total number of bids placed in a single category and the number of distinct auctions frequented by a given agent follow power-law distributions, implying that a few agents are responsible for a significant fraction of the total bidding activity on the online market. To confirm the validity of our findings in different markets and time spans, we collected the data over a one year period from eBay’s Korean partner auction.co.kr, and confirmed the findings obtained from the eBay data. This domination of online auctions by a few unusually active minorities may be a generic feature of all online mercantile processes.


Successful Agent Preferential Attachment Online Auction Distinct Item Auction Site 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    E. van Heck and P. Vervest, Communication of the ACM 41,99 (1998).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    R. D’Hulst and G.J. Rodgers, Physica A 294,447 (2001).MathSciNetADSMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    R.N. Mantegna and H.E. Stanley, An introduction to econophysies: Correlations and complexity in finance. (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    J.P. Bouchard and M. Potters, Theory of financial risks: From statistical physics to risk management. (Cambridge University Press,Cambrdige, 2000).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    A.-L. Barabasi and R. Albert, Science 286, 509 (1999).MathSciNetADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    H.A. Simon, Biometrika 42, 425(1955).MathSciNetMATHGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    M. Marsili and Y.-C. Zhang, Phys. Rev. Lett.80,2741 (1998).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    R. Albert and A.-L. Barabasi, Rev. Mod. Phys.74,47 (2002).MathSciNetADSMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    R. Pastor-Satorras, A. Vazquez and A. Vespignani, Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 258701 (2001).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    M. Newman, Phys. Rev. E 64, 025102 (2001).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Kahng
    • 1
  • I. Yang
    • 1
  • H. Jeong
    • 2
  • A.-L. Barabási
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Physics and Center for Theoretical PhysicsSeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsKorea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, TaejonKorea
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsUniversity of Notre DameUSA

Personalised recommendations