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16
Truthful Mechanisms for OneParameter Agents
"... In this paper, we show how to design truthful (dominant strategy) mechanisms for several combinatorial problems where each agent’s secret data is naturally expressed by a single positive real number. The goal of the mechanisms we consider is to allocate loads placed on the agents, and an agent’s sec ..."
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Cited by 186 (4 self)
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In this paper, we show how to design truthful (dominant strategy) mechanisms for several combinatorial problems where each agent’s secret data is naturally expressed by a single positive real number. The goal of the mechanisms we consider is to allocate loads placed on the agents, and an agent’s secret data is the cost she incurs per unit load. We give an exact characterization for the algorithms that can be used to design truthful mechanisms for such load balancing problems using appropriate side payments. We use our characterization to design polynomial time truthful mechanisms for several problems in combinatorial optimization to which the celebrated VCG mechanism does not apply. For scheduling related parallel machines (QjjCmax), we give a 3approximation mechanism based on randomized rounding of the optimal fractional solution. This problem is NPcomplete, and the standard approximation algorithms (greedy loadbalancing or the PTAS) cannot be used in truthful mechanisms. We show our mechanism to be frugal, in that the total payment needed is only a logarithmic factor more than the actual costs incurred by the machines, unless one machine dominates the total processing power. We also give truthful mechanisms for maximum flow, Qjj P Cj (scheduling related machines to minimize the sum of completion times), optimizing an affine function over a fixed set, and special cases of uncapacitated facility location. In addition, for Qjj P wjCj (minimizing the weighted sum of completion times), we prove a lower bound of 2 p 3 for the best approximation ratio achievable by a truthful mechanism.
Frugal path mechanisms
, 2002
"... We consider the problem of selecting a low cost s − t path in a graph, where the edge costs are a secret known only to the various economic agents who own them. To solve this problem, Nisan and Ronen applied the celebrated VickreyClarkeGroves (VCG) mechanism, which pays a premium to induce the edg ..."
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Cited by 108 (2 self)
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We consider the problem of selecting a low cost s − t path in a graph, where the edge costs are a secret known only to the various economic agents who own them. To solve this problem, Nisan and Ronen applied the celebrated VickreyClarkeGroves (VCG) mechanism, which pays a premium to induce the edges to reveal their costs truthfully. We observe that this premium can be unacceptably high. There are simple instances where the mechanism pays Θ(k) times the actual cost of the path, even if there is an alternate path available that costs only (1 + ɛ) times as much. This inspires the frugal path problem, which is to design a mechanism that selects a path and induces truthful cost revelation without paying such a high premium. This paper contributes negative results on the frugal path problem. On two large classes of graphs, including ones having three nodedisjoint s − t paths, we prove that no reasonable mechanism can always avoid paying a high premium to induce truthtelling. In particular, we introduce a general class of min function mechanisms, and show that all min function mechanisms can be forced to overpay just as badly as VCG. On the other hand, we prove that (on two large classes of graphs) every truthful mechanism satisfying some reasonable properties is a min function mechanism. 1
A Nonmanipulable Meeting Scheduling System
 In Proc. 13th International Distributed Artificial Intelligence Workshop, Lake Quinalt
, 1994
"... In this paper we present three scheduling mechanisms that are manipulationproof for closed systems. The amount of information that each user must encode in the mechanism increases with the complexity of the mechanism. On the other hand, the more complex the mechanism is, the more it maintains the p ..."
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Cited by 37 (0 self)
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In this paper we present three scheduling mechanisms that are manipulationproof for closed systems. The amount of information that each user must encode in the mechanism increases with the complexity of the mechanism. On the other hand, the more complex the mechanism is, the more it maintains the privacy of the users. The first mechanism is a centralized, calendaroriented one. It is the least computationally complex of the three, but does not maintain user privacy. The second is a distributed meetingoriented mechanism that maintains user privacy, but at the cost of greater computational complexity. The third mechanism, while being the most complex, maintains user privacy (for the most part) and allows users to have the greatest influence on the resulting schedule. 1 Introduction The basic research problem in meeting scheduling is that of timing, that is, when to set a meeting. This question becomes more complicated when there are several meetings to be scheduled that involve the sa...
Deriving Consensus in Multiagent Systems
 Artificial Intelligence
, 1996
"... the rules by which agents in an encounter will interact. Once the rules of encounter have been determined, each builder of each agent is free to design his own machine any way that he wants. However, the rules that were established will certainly affect the choices he makes in building his own ag ..."
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Cited by 32 (2 self)
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the rules by which agents in an encounter will interact. Once the rules of encounter have been determined, each builder of each agent is free to design his own machine any way that he wants. However, the rules that were established will certainly affect the choices he makes in building his own agent.
Efficient mechanism design
, 1998
"... We study Bayesian mechanism design in situations where agents ’ information may be multidimensional, concentrating on mechanisms that lead to efficient allocations. Our main result is that a generalization of the wellknown VickreyClarkeGroves mechanism maximizes the planner’s “revenue ” among al ..."
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Cited by 30 (0 self)
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We study Bayesian mechanism design in situations where agents ’ information may be multidimensional, concentrating on mechanisms that lead to efficient allocations. Our main result is that a generalization of the wellknown VickreyClarkeGroves mechanism maximizes the planner’s “revenue ” among all efficient mechanisms. This result is then used to study multiple object auctions in situations where bidders have privately known “demand curves” and extended to include situations with complementarities across objects or externalities across bidders. We also illustrate how the main result may be used to analyze the possibility of allocating both private and public goods efÞciently when budget balance considerations are important. The generalized VCG mechanism, therefore, serves to unify many results in mechansim design theory. 1
Randomization with asymmetric information
 RAND Journal of Economics
, 1988
"... Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at ..."
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Cited by 24 (0 self)
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Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at
Voting and Lottery Drafts as Efficient Public Goods Mechanisms
, 1993
"... This paper characterizes interim efficient mechanisms for public good production and cost allocation in a twotype environment with risk neutral, quasilinear preferences and fixed size projects, where the distribution of the private good, as well as the public goods decision, affects social welfare ..."
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Cited by 12 (0 self)
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This paper characterizes interim efficient mechanisms for public good production and cost allocation in a twotype environment with risk neutral, quasilinear preferences and fixed size projects, where the distribution of the private good, as well as the public goods decision, affects social welfare. An efficient public good decision can always be accomplished by a majority voting scheme, where the number of “YES ” votes required depends on the welfare weights in a simple way. The results are shown to have a natural geometry and an intuitive interpretation. We also extend these results to allow for restrictions on feasible transfer rules, ranging from the traditional unlimited transfers to the extreme case of no transfers. For a range of welfare weights, an optimal scheme is a twostage procedure which combines a voting stage with a second stage where an evenchance lottery is used to determine who pays. We call this the “lottery draft mechanism”. Since such a costsharing scheme does not require transfers, it follows that in many cases transfers are not necessary to achieve the optimal allocation. For other ranges of welfare weights the second stage is more complicated, but the voting stage remains the same. If transfers are completely infeasible, randomized voting rules may be optimal. The paper also provides a geometric characterization of the effects of voluntary participation constraints.
The Theory of Implementation of Social Choice Rules
 In: SIAM Review
, 2004
"... Abstract. Suppose that the goals of a society can be summarized in a social choice rule, i.e., a mapping from relevant underlying parameters to final outcomes. Typically, the underlying parameters (e.g., individual preferences) are private information to the agents in society. The implementation pro ..."
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Cited by 10 (1 self)
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Abstract. Suppose that the goals of a society can be summarized in a social choice rule, i.e., a mapping from relevant underlying parameters to final outcomes. Typically, the underlying parameters (e.g., individual preferences) are private information to the agents in society. The implementation problem is then formulated: under what circumstances can one design a mechanism so that the private information is truthfully elicited and the social optimum ends up being implemented? In designing such a mechanism, appropriate incentives will have to be given to the agents so that they do not wish to misrepresent their information. The theory of implementation or mechanism design formalizes this “social engineering ” problem and provides answers to the question just posed. I survey the theory of implementation in this article, emphasizing the results based on two behavioral assumptions for the agents (dominant strategies and Nash equilibrium). Examples discussed include voting, and the allocation of private and public goods under complete and incomplete information.
Screening in a Matching Market
 REVIEW OF ECONOMIC STUDIES
, 2001
"... Contract design under incomplete information is often analysed in a bilaterally monopolistic setting. If the informed party’s reservation value does not depend on its private information (its type), it is a standard result that the uninformed side offers "low" types distorted contracts to reduce the ..."
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Cited by 8 (4 self)
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Contract design under incomplete information is often analysed in a bilaterally monopolistic setting. If the informed party’s reservation value does not depend on its private information (its type), it is a standard result that the uninformed side offers "low" types distorted contracts to reduce the information rent left to "high" types. We challenge this result by embedding contract design in a matching market environment. We consider a market where players meet pairwise and where, in each match, either side may be chosen to make a takeitorleaveit offer. As frictions become sufficiently low, we find that the set of equilibria is independent of whether there is complete or incomplete information. In particular, all contracts are free of distortions.
SIMPLE SEQUENCING PROBLEMS WITH INTERDEPENDENT COSTS
, 2001
"... In this paper we analyze sequencing situations under incomplete information where agents have interdependent costs. We first argue why VickreyClarkeGroves (or VCG) mechanism fails to implement a simple sequencing problem in dominant strategies. Given this impossibility, we try to implement simple ..."
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Cited by 7 (0 self)
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In this paper we analyze sequencing situations under incomplete information where agents have interdependent costs. We first argue why VickreyClarkeGroves (or VCG) mechanism fails to implement a simple sequencing problem in dominant strategies. Given this impossibility, we try to implement simple sequencing problems in expost equilibrium. We show that a simple sequencing problem is implementable if and only if the mechanism is a ‘generalized VCG mechanism’. We then show that for implementable n agent simple sequencing problems, with polynomial cost function of order (n  2) or less, one can achieve first best implementability. Moreover, for the class of simple sequencing problems with “sufficiently well behaved” cost function, this is the only class of first best implementable simple sequencing problems.