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34
Ad hocVCG: A truthful and costefficient routing protocol for mobile ad hoc networks with selfish agents
, 2003
"... We introduce a gametheoretic setting for routing in a mobile ad hoc network that consists of greedy, selfish agents who accept payments for forwarding data for other agents if the payments cover their individual costs incurred by forwarding data. In this setting, we propose Ad hocVCG, a reactive r ..."
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Cited by 156 (5 self)
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We introduce a gametheoretic setting for routing in a mobile ad hoc network that consists of greedy, selfish agents who accept payments for forwarding data for other agents if the payments cover their individual costs incurred by forwarding data. In this setting, we propose Ad hocVCG, a reactive routing protocol that achieves the design objectives of truthfulness (i.e., it is in the agents ’ best interest to reveal their true costs for forwarding data) and costefficiency (i.e., it guarantees that routing is done along the most costefficient path) in a gametheoretic sense by paying to the intermediate nodes a premium over their actual costs for forwarding data packets. We show that the total overpayment (i.e., the sum of all premiums paid) is relatively small by giving a theoretical upper bound and by providing experimental evidence. Our routing protocol implements a variation of the wellknown mechanism by Vickrey, Clarke, and Groves in a mobile network setting. Finally, we analyze a very natural routing protocol that is an adaptation of the Packet Purse Model [8] with auctions in our setting and show that, unfortunately, it does not achieve costefficiency or truthfulness
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 115 (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
Competitive Auctions
, 2002
"... We study a class of singleround, sealedbid auctions for items in unlimited supply, such as digital goods. We introduce the notion of competitive auctions. A competitive auction is truthful (i.e., encourages buyers to bid their utility) and yields profit that is roughly within a constant factor of ..."
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Cited by 79 (11 self)
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We study a class of singleround, sealedbid auctions for items in unlimited supply, such as digital goods. We introduce the notion of competitive auctions. A competitive auction is truthful (i.e., encourages buyers to bid their utility) and yields profit that is roughly within a constant factor of the profit of optimal fixed pricing for all inputs. We justify the use of optimal fixed pricing as a benchmark for evaluating competitive auction profit. We show that several randomized auctions are truthful and competitive and that no truthful deterministic auction is competitive. Our results extend to bounded supply markets, for which we also get truthful and competitive auctions.
Approximation techniques for utilitarian mechanism design
 IN PROC. 36TH ACM SYMP. ON THEORY OF COMPUTING
, 2005
"... This paper deals with the design of efficiently computable incentive compatible, or truthful, mechanisms for combinatorial optimization problems with multiparameter agents. We focus on approximation algorithms for NPhard mechanism design problems. These algorithms need to satisfy certain monotonic ..."
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Cited by 64 (3 self)
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This paper deals with the design of efficiently computable incentive compatible, or truthful, mechanisms for combinatorial optimization problems with multiparameter agents. We focus on approximation algorithms for NPhard mechanism design problems. These algorithms need to satisfy certain monotonicity properties to ensure truthfulness. Since most of the known approximation techniques do not fulfill these properties, we study alternative techniques. Our first contribution is a quite general method to transform a pseudopolynomial algorithm into a monotone FPTAS. This can be applied to various problems like, e.g., knapsack, constrained shortest path, or job scheduling with deadlines. For example, the monotone FPTAS for the knapsack problem gives a very efficient, truthful mechanism for singleminded multiunit auctions. The best previous result for such auctions was a 2approximation. In addition,
How Much Can Taxes Help Selfish Routing?
 EC'03
, 2003
"... ... in networks. We consider a model of selfish routing in which the latency experienced by network tra#c on an edge of the network is a function of the edge congestion, and network users are assumed to selfishly route tra#c on minimumlatency paths. The quality of a routing of tra#c is historically ..."
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Cited by 62 (6 self)
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... in networks. We consider a model of selfish routing in which the latency experienced by network tra#c on an edge of the network is a function of the edge congestion, and network users are assumed to selfishly route tra#c on minimumlatency paths. The quality of a routing of tra#c is historically measured by the sum of all travel times, also called the total latency. It is well known
Beyond VCG: Frugality of truthful mechanisms
 In Proceedings of the 46th Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science
, 2005
"... We study truthful mechanisms for auctions in which the auctioneer is trying to hire a team of agents to perform a complex task, and paying them for their work. As common in the field of mechanism design, we assume that the agents are selfish and will act in such a way as to maximize their profit, wh ..."
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Cited by 47 (3 self)
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We study truthful mechanisms for auctions in which the auctioneer is trying to hire a team of agents to perform a complex task, and paying them for their work. As common in the field of mechanism design, we assume that the agents are selfish and will act in such a way as to maximize their profit, which in particular may include misrepresenting their true incurred cost. Our first contribution is a new and natural definition of the frugality ratio of a mechanism, measuring the amount by which a mechanism “overpays”, and extending previous definitions to all monopolyfree set systems. After reexamining several known results in light of this new definition, we proceed to study in detail shortest path auctions and “routofk sets ” auctions. We show that when individual set systems (e.g., graphs) are considered instead of worst cases over all instances, these problems exhibit a rich structure, and the performance of mechanisms may be vastly different. In particular, we show that the wellknown VCG mechanism may be far from optimal in these settings, and we propose and analyze a mechanism that is always within a constant factor of optimal. 1
CollusionResistant Mechanisms for SingleParameter Agents
 In Proceedings of the 16th Annual ACMSIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms
, 2005
"... We consider the problem of designing mechanisms with the incentive property that no coalition of agents can engage in a collusive strategy that results in an increase in the combined utility of the coalition. For single parameter agents, we give a characterization that essentially restricts such mec ..."
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Cited by 41 (7 self)
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We consider the problem of designing mechanisms with the incentive property that no coalition of agents can engage in a collusive strategy that results in an increase in the combined utility of the coalition. For single parameter agents, we give a characterization that essentially restricts such mechanisms to those that post a “take it or leave it ” price to for each agent in advance. We then consider relaxing the incentive property to only hold with high probability. In this relaxed model, we are able to design approximate profit maximizing auctions and approximately efficient auctions. We also give a general framework for designing mechanisms for single parameter agents while maintaining the coalition incentive property with high probability. In addition, we give several results for a weaker incentive property from the literature known as group strategyproofness.
Optimal mechanism design and money burning
 STOC ’08
, 2008
"... Mechanism design is now a standard tool in computer science for aligning the incentives of selfinterested agents with the objectives of a system designer. There is, however, a fundamental disconnect between the traditional application domains of mechanism design (such as auctions) and those arising ..."
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Cited by 37 (12 self)
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Mechanism design is now a standard tool in computer science for aligning the incentives of selfinterested agents with the objectives of a system designer. There is, however, a fundamental disconnect between the traditional application domains of mechanism design (such as auctions) and those arising in computer science (such as networks): while monetary transfers (i.e., payments) are essential for most of the known positive results in mechanism design, they are undesirable or even technologically infeasible in many computer systems. Classical impossibility results imply that the reach of mechanisms without transfers is severely limited. Computer systems typically do have the ability to reduce service quality—routing systems can drop or delay traffic, scheduling protocols can delay the release of jobs, and computational payment schemes can require computational payments from users (e.g., in spamfighting systems). Service degradation is tantamount to requiring that users burn money, and such “payments ” can be used to influence the preferences of the agents at a cost of degrading the social surplus. We develop a framework for the design and analysis of moneyburning mechanisms to maximize the residual surplus— the total value of the chosen outcome minus the payments required. Our primary contributions are the following. • We define a general template for priorfree optimal mechanism design that explicitly connects Bayesian optimal mechanism design, the dominant paradigm in economics, with worstcase analysis. In particular, we establish a general and principled way to identify appropriate performance benchmarks in priorfree mechanism design. • For general singleparameter agent settings, we char
Budget Feasible Mechanisms
"... Abstract—We study a novel class of mechanism design problems in which the outcomes are constrained by the payments. This basic class of mechanism design problems captures many common economic situations, and yet it has not been studied, to our knowledge, in the past. We focus on the case of procurem ..."
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Cited by 14 (3 self)
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Abstract—We study a novel class of mechanism design problems in which the outcomes are constrained by the payments. This basic class of mechanism design problems captures many common economic situations, and yet it has not been studied, to our knowledge, in the past. We focus on the case of procurement auctions in which sellers have private costs, and the auctioneer aims to maximize a utility function on subsets of items, under the constraint that the sum of the payments provided by the mechanism does not exceed a given budget. Standard mechanism design ideas such as the VCG mechanism and its variants are not applicable here. We show that, for general functions, the budget constraint can render mechanisms arbitrarily bad in terms of the utility of the buyer. However, our main result shows that for the important class of submodular functions, a bounded approximation ratio is achievable. Better approximation results are obtained for subclasses of the submodular functions. We explore the space of budget feasible mechanisms in other domains and give a characterization under more restricted conditions. I.
Revenue Submodularity
 EC'09
, 2009
"... We introduce revenue submodularity, the property that market expansion has diminishing returns on an auction’s expected revenue. We prove that revenue submodularity is generally possible only in matroid markets, that Bayesianoptimal auctions are always revenuesubmodular in such markets, and that t ..."
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Cited by 12 (6 self)
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We introduce revenue submodularity, the property that market expansion has diminishing returns on an auction’s expected revenue. We prove that revenue submodularity is generally possible only in matroid markets, that Bayesianoptimal auctions are always revenuesubmodular in such markets, and that the VCG mechanism is revenuesubmodular in matroid markets with i.i.d. bidders and “sufficient competition”. We also give two applications of revenue submodularity: good approximation algorithms for novel market expansion problems, and approximate revenue guarantees for the VCG mechanism with i.i.d. bidders.