IB symbol limit increase for automated trading

Discussion in 'Automated Trading' started by H2O, Nov 22, 2003.

  1. H2O



    This request has been made several times :

    The symbol limit (on TWS and the API together) is max 40 symbols.People who would like to automate some strategies have problems with this and would like an increase.....

    Is it possible to increase this to at least 100 ?
    People using TWS can only view a limmitted nr of symbols in TWS (Screen size) and people using the API will generate commissions according to the symbols they're using...

    Any thoughts ?
  2. If you don't need "real time" quotes, then QuoteTracker is very easy to interface to your IB auto-trade app.

    IOW if you could get by with snapshot quotes every 1-2 minutes, for example (like with a slower trading swing system), then you could probably quote several hundred securities through QT. And it has the advantage of easily changing data sources.

    Here is the API info:

  3. hey dont hog all the bandwidth! :mad:
  4. H2O


    I won't.... read my post, only the ones really automating will request > 40 symbols
  5. alanm


    Quote from LongShot:
    hey dont hog all the bandwidth! :mad:

    Number of symbols bears little relation to bandwidth used.

    I recently did a study that watched every tick of a basket of stocks from TWS, from 07:00 to 20:00. The basket consisted of:

    8 high-volume listed stocks
    7 high-volume NASDAQ stocks (including MSFT)
    12 lower-volume listed SPX components
    12 lower-volume NDX components

    A TWS that watched only MSFT and QQQ during RTH (09:30-16:00) used 15x as much bandwidth as the total of the other 38 stocks used during non-RTH.

    To put it another way, you could watch several hundred tickers (with some higher-volume ones in the mix) during after-hours and use the same bandwidth it takes to watch just QQQ and MSFT during market hours.

    We really need a better solution than this unprecedented* 40-ticker limit.

    *among other market data sources
  6. IMHO what you observed is irrelevant. The real thing you should be able to look at is from the server side at IB's. If things go bad overthere everybody will suffer. It is obvious that for the servers an increase in the number of issues tracked by users will also increase the load.

    The point raised by H2O that users automating will require more symbols is a non-issue. If you want to track a few 100 symbols, simply subscribe to and pay for a datafeed service. Don't penalize other IB users interested in maintaining efficiency in their automation projects by requesting excessive "free" goodies.

  7. H2O


    I have a data subscription (eSignal) and if needed I want to pay for increased symbol limits with IB. I suggest a minimum commission of XXX for access to more symbols (or pay)

    What I think is, if You keep the max limit in TWS at 40 (current) adn only allow API users 100, than only the people who do automate will get access to extra symbols. (And generate extra commissions)
  8. rickty



    Can I ask you what data source you're using with QT. A couple of sources I've used have been rather unreliable.

  9. alanm


    Quote from nononsense:
    IMHO what you observed is irrelevant.

    Why? My point is that there are lots of people out there that are watching the top 40 components of the NDX and/or the ETFs, and they are the ones that are using the vast majority of the server resources. Not to mention that there are those who decided they'd get around the limit by rapidly subscribing/un-subscribing 40 at a time to get 5-second snapshots of hundreds of symbols! How's that for abusive?

    My point is that restricting the number of symbols to a ridiculously low limit (like 40) only punishes the rest of us. Obviously, the answer is not to increase the limit to 100 or 500. The answer is to restrict usage in a way that is meaningful and fair (e.g. according to actual resources used).

    If you want to track a few 100 symbols, simply subscribe to and pay for a datafeed service.

    Of course, if it is available. I pay plenty every month for data from many sources, but none of them will give me what I need from IB - inside market quotes from the 3 major ECNs for listed stocks. If someone knows where I can get that, PLEASE tell me.

    If all the people that just wanted to watch busy NDX and ETF quotes (and not trade off of them) would simply pay the <$100 a month to any of the dozens of other sources from which they are available, I believe there would be a ton of excess capacity left at IB.

    Don't penalize other IB users interested in maintaining efficiency in their automation projects by requesting excessive "free" goodies.

    Nobody is asking to penalize anyone that actually needs the data. I disagree that these are "free goodies". I need quotes in order to trade, and am willing to pay for my fair share of the facilities used to deliver them.
  10. No.

    #10     Nov 25, 2003