AEE Lab MRET Market Experiment Installation Instructions

System Requirements

Both the server and client programs are written in Java and works on Windows and Linux platforms.

You will need to have the following installed in order to run this experiment:

Server Machine

Client Machines

  • Java Runtime Environment 1.5 or higher
  • Web browser with Java enabled

Server Set-up

  • Download the server program from here. Unpack the files to a directory on your computer. The zipped file contains a number of sample initialization text file and the server programs named "MRETserver_version.jar", where version indicates penalty mode or resale mode. 
  • Create a new directory where you will store all your output files. It is strongly recommended you make a new one as all existing contents of this output directory will be deleted each time you run an experiment. 
  • Create a new directory named "MRETExperiment" in drive C:\. This directory will contain the log file of the experiments.
  • Double-click on "MRETserver_version.jar". If you have Java installed, this will open two windows: a Control Panel (Figure 1) and an Experimental Results page (Figure 2). In this example, we are running the penalty version of the server program. 

Figure 1. Server Control Panel

Figure 2. Server Experimental Results Page

  • Click on "Output Directory" in the Control Panel. Navigate to the folder you just created and then click "Open". Alternatively, you can right-click on the mouse and the option to create a new folder will pop up.
  • Click on "Load Init File". A number of  sample files is included with the server program, named "SampleInit*_MRET_version_nrmg.txt" where version denotes either Penalty mode or Resale mode, n denotes the number of retailer participants, and m denotes the number of generator participants in the experiment. For this example, choose "SampleInit1_MRET_Penalty_3r4g.txt". This sample file specifies the server to run with three participants acting as retailers and four as generators. 
  • The server program will load the file and you will see the control panel change to reflect the participant information (Figure 3). 

Figure 3. Control Panel after loading initialization file SampleInit1_MRET_Penalty_3r4g.txt

  • The server is now ready to accept connections from seven participant clients. 

Client Set-up

The client program will be accessed by client terminals using HTTP. Thus, unlike the server program which can be installed and run from anywhere on the server computer, the client program has to be placed in a directory within the "htdocs" folder of your Apache web server installation. 

  • Download the client program from here. This contains a web page named "MRETclient.html", which calls Java to execute the client program "MRETclient.jar".
  • Unpack the file and place it in the "htdocs" folder within your Apache installation directory. For instance, if you installed Apache 2.2.4 in "C:\Program Files", you should place the client folder in "C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\htdocs\".
  • Open a web browser in your client machine. It is recommended you test that the server and client programs can communicate with each other by running both programs on the same machine first before using remote machines. This will eliminate all other points of failure such as network problems and firewalls.
  • On the web browser, type in the path to MRETclient.html" on the URL field. For instance, if you placed the folder "02aMRETclient" in "C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\htdocs\",  you are running the client and server on the same machine, and you want to run the version with no bid improvement,  the correct URL will be "http://localhost/02aMRETclient/MRETclient.html". Note that here localhost denotes the machine you want to connect to, and everything that follows (/02aMRETclient/MRETclient.html) specifies the directory and filename of the web page you wish to load and are therefore case-sensitive.
  • If the server is running using the initialization file "SampleInit1_MRET_Penalty_3r4g.txt", the client web page will load the java program and you will see a login page (Figure 4). 

Figure 4. Client Login Screen

  • Type in your name, e-mail address and a student code (any numeric value will do if you don't have one) and choose the participant code (G stands for generator and R stands for retailer). Depending on the type of participant you choose, you will see either Figure 5 (Generator trading screen) or Figure 6 (Retailer trading screen).

Figure 5. Generator trading screen

Figure 6. Retailer trading screen

  • As each participant logs in, the information on the server's control panel will change to reflect their status. 

  • Once all participants have logged in, the experiment can begin by clicking the "Start" button on the server's control panel.

Additional Notes

  • All participants must be logged in before the experiment can commence. The "Start" button on the control panel will not be accessible unless the expected number of participants for this experiment has connected to the server.
  • If you wish to run the clients on remote machines, you will need to know the IP address of the server machine. You can find this out by opening a command prompt (Windows "Start" => "Run" => Open "cmd") and typing ipconfig on the terminal. Replace localhost with this IP address in the URL field above to access the client program remotely using your web browser.
  • If autologin is enabled, participants do not need to log-in their details at the start of the experiment. Instead they will be automatically assigned a fictitious identity and will be taken directly to the trading screen.

Last Modified: 17 October 2007


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