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 This application is related to the commonly owned co-pending U.S. Patent Applications entitled “Distributed Matching System” filed May 25, 1989, bearing U.S. Ser. No. 357,036; “Distributed Matching System Method;” filed May 25, 1989, bearing U.S. Ser. No. 357,484; “Anonymous Matching System,” filed May 26, 1989, bearing U.S. Ser. No., 357,748; “Integrated Trading System,” filed Nov. 22, 1989, bearing U.S. Ser. No. 440,971; and “Integrated Trading System Method,” filed Nov. 22, 1989, bearing U.S. Ser. No. 441,156; and U.S. Pat. No. 5,003,473, issued Mar. 26, 1991 and entitled “Trading Ticket Output System,” the contents of all of which are specifically incorporated by reference herein in their entirety, and is an improvement thereon.
 The present invention related to matching systems for effectuating trades of trading instruments through automatic matching in which buyers and sellers who are willing to trade with one another based on specified criteria may automatically trade when matching events occur satisfying these criteria, and more particularly to improvements in such matching systems in which risks are minimized as to losses due to broken trades.
 Information retrieval systems for financial information, such as stock market type of information and money market information, normally employ a transfer of data in a high-performance, real-time information retrieval network in which update rates, retrieval rates and subscriber and/or user population are generally very high. An example of such a system is assignee's REUTER MONITOR DEALING SERVICE which is used in the foreign exchange or money market. Such systems, while providing rapid video conversation capability, and the ability, in the instance of Reuters' MONITOR DEALING SERVICE, to display a message when a connection is lost during a negotiated trade, are not anonymous systems nor do they provide for automated anonymous trading such as is possible in a matching system. Of course, conversational dealing systems have their place in the market and serve particular needs where appropriate. However, anonymous matching systems are also often desired and, by their very nature, do not normally employ a conversation capability since the parties to the transactions are unknown until the transaction has been completed. Examples of satisfactory prior art video conversational systems for use in connection with trading of financial information are disclosed in commonly owned U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,531,184; 4,525,779 and 4,404,551, by way of example. In this regard, U.S. Pat. No. 4,525,779 discloses a feature termed a DEAL KEY for providing a visual confirmation signal during a negotiated trade but does not concern itself with the problems of anonymous matching trades and the types of confirmations required therein to complete a deal in which risks are minimized as to losses due to broken trades.
 Prior art examples of matching systems used in connection with the trading of trading instruments are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,412,287, and U.K. Patent Nos. 1,489,571 and 1,489,573, all of which disclose automatic stock exchanges in which a computer matches buy and sell orders for a variety of stocks; U.S. Pat. No. 3,573,747, which discloses an anonymous trading system for selling fungible properties between subscribers to the system; U.S. Pat. No. 3,581,072, which discloses the use of a special purpose digital computer for matching orders and establishing market prices in an auction market for fungible goods; U.S. Pat. No., 4,674,044, which discloses an automatic securities trading system; and U.S. Pat. No. 4,903,201, which discloses an automated computerized, open outcry exchange system for trading commodity contracts through automatic matching. Other such prior art matching systems are SOFFEX, such as described in the Feb. 15, 1988 issue of
 Nevertheless, in anonymous matching systems, such as described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 357,758, filed May 26, 1989, and incorporated by reference herein, there can be a problem when one communication channel fails during the matching transaction. It may occur that although confirmation is sent to one keystation or counterparty and acknowledged, the other counterparty to the matching transaction which occurred at the host does not receive details of the contract and/or his acknowledgement does not reach the host computer or central system. If the communication channel which fails is that of the purchaser and failure occurs after he has made his offer to buy but before he receives an acceptance, the seller will have offered to sell, will have received details of the contract from the host or central system and will have acknowledged receipt of the host or central system so that as far as the seller is concerned, the contract or deal is complete. The buyer will have received details of the offer from the host or central system and have made his acceptance or an alternative offer to buy but due to the channel failure he will not have received any details of the contract. He will be uncertain of his position and may assume that his acceptance was too late or his offer to buy has not been accepted and consider the deal or contract not made. This will leave the host or central system and the buyer at odds, and if the terms of business are appropriate, it may be that the host or central system has to purchase the items from the seller and attempt to sell them in the market itself, possibly at a loss, if the buyer has considered the contract not made.
 The present invention attempts to overcome these problems of the prior art by providing a time lapse generator or trade status timing system at each keystation. If desired, a time lapse generator can also be provided at the host or central station, for timing receipt of match acknowledgement signals after match notification by the host. If a client or keystation is making an offer to sell, his offer to sell is transmitted to the host computer or central station as in the aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 357,748, by way of example, and when a deal is matched, details of the amount offered for purchase are sent back to the selling client or keystation who provides a match acknowledgement message to the host computer. The time lapse is generated at the client or keystation following the receipt of a message from the host or central system and will in due course generate an alarm if within a predetermined time lapse period a further message is not received back from the host or central system indicating a confirmed trade, such as along with a ticket generation message. The time lapse is preferably started by the receipt and storage of a message but it could be started by the transmission of an outgoing message. If the time lapse generator is not stopped within a predetermined time, the alarm is generated and the keystation is alerted that the deal is denoted as suspect, requiring further checking with the other party or with the host or central station before it can be considered binding.
 It may be arranged in the improved matching system of the present invention that the identity of the other party to the matching transaction is not revealed at the initial message sending stage. In such an instance, when an alarm is raised, the client or relevant keystation is simply informed that his deal is not fully confirmed and that further checking is required. Since he does not know the identity of the other party, he clearly cannot check with him but instead can check with a central enquiry station who would then check with the other party and report back to the enquiring party that the deal is either confirmed or cancelled. It could also be arranged, if desired, in the improved matching system of the present invention, that the identity of the other party is transmitted in the initial message but is simply kept hidden by the display apparatus at the client's keystation until full confirmation is achieved. This latter approach would preferably avoid any problems of a client adopting different modes of enquiry according to the identity of his possible buyer or vendor. In the anonymous system to be described herein by way of example, the details of the other party are only displayed at the final confirmation of the bargain or trade.
 As will be described hereinafter, the improved matching system of the present invention overcomes the disadvantages of the prior art in minimizing risks as to losses due to broken trades, such as by ensuring that the occurrence of automatically confirmed trades is dependent on match acknowledgement from all counterparties to the matching trade, and by monitoring trade status of matching transactions.
 An improved matching system for trading instruments in which the occurrence of automatically confirmed trades is dependent on match acknowledgement from all counterparties to the matching trade. In the system of the present invention, bids for the trading instruments which may be any type of trading instrument such as foreign exchange, stocks, bonds, commodities future contracts, etc., are automatically matched against offers for given trading instruments for automatically providing matching transactions in order to provide confirmed trades for the given trading instruments. The system comprises a host computer or central station for matching like bids and offers provided thereto in accordance with a predetermined matching criteria, a transaction originating keystation or client for providing a bid on a given trading instrument to the system for providing a potential matching transaction, a counterparty keystation or client for providing an offer on the given trading instrument involved in the potential matching transaction, and a network or communications link for interconnecting the host computer, the transaction originating keystation, and the counterparty keystation in the system for enabling data communications therebetween. The host computer comprises match notification data message generation means for providing a match notification data message to the transaction originating keystation and the counterparty keystation via the network in response to the occurrence of a matching transaction at the host computer, which is the central location at which matches automatically take place in accordance with the predetermined matching criteria, such as described in the aforementioned U.S. Ser. No. 357,748. The match notification data message comprises an unconfirmed matching transaction for the given trading instrument, which is an indication that a match has occurred but that the deal has not been confirmed or completed since all counterparties to the deal have not yet been notified. Match acknowledgement data message generation means are located at each of the keystations for respectively providing a match acknowledgement data message to the host computer via the network in response to receipt of the match notification data message by the transaction originating keystation means and the counterparty keystation, respectively, so that confirmation of the trade, and ultimate ticket generation, can occur. The host computer further comprises confirmed trade data message generation means for providing a confirmed trade data message to the transaction originating keystation and the counterparty keystation via the network in response to receipt of the match acknowledgement data messages from both the transaction originating keystation and the counterparty keystation. The transaction originating keystation and the counterparty keystation each further comprise trade status timing means for timing receipt of the confirmed trade data message by the respective keystation for providing a trade status display at the respective keystation based on the timed receipt of the confirmed trade data message. The trade status timing arrangement is such that an alarm condition is provided to the keystation when the confirmed trade data message is not received within a predetermined time interval, a confirmed trade status display is provided at the keystation if this message is received within this timed interval, and a late confirmed trade status display is provided if this message is received after this timed interval. During this time interval, until a confirmed trade occurs, an unconfirmed trade status display is provided. The host computer may also employ a timing arrangement for timing receipt of the match acknowledgement data messages from the keystations in order to provide an alarm condition to the respective keystation if a match acknowledgement data message has not been timely received from the other party to the trade.
 Examples of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
 Referring now to the drawings in detail, and initially to
 The connection and operation of the system will generically be described with reference to the situation in which client A (KS A) makes an offer to sell one million of a given trading instrument at a given price and this offer is transmitted as message
 The receipt of message
 Similarly message
 As will be described later, messages
 The timers TA and TB preferably have 15 second periods, by way of example, although any other desired timing period may be chosen. At client station A (KS A), if a confirmed trade message
 At the host computer
 If the timer at the host
 When the clients or counterparties remain unidentified to each other until the match is made and acknowledged, message
 When clients or counterparties are identified to each other at an early stage, subsequent communication, if desired, can be made directly between the counterparties and need not be through the host
 Referring now to
 As was previously mentioned, the timer
 It should be understood that once the improved procedures employed in the above system are understood, based on the foregoing description, the implementation of these improved procedures in accordance with the message flow diagrams of FIGS.