Computing as Utility: Managing Availability, Commitment, and Pricing Through Contingent Bid Auctions
Journal of Management Information Systems, 2004

Enabled by advances in grid and network computing architectures for the delivery of on-demand computing services, the vision of an e-services economy in which computing will be as ubiquitous as a utility is becoming a possibility in business computing. The successful introduction of these new computing models requires the development of appropriate pricing mechanisms that are consistent with the enabling technologies.

This paper by Professor Hemant Bhargava and co-author Shankar Sundaresan of the Rutgers School of Business introduces the notion of contingent auctions to address this lacuna. In contingent auctions, users bid for computing resources in an auction, but are relieved from the contract (paying a penalty) if demand is not realized.