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434
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
An analysis of alternative slot auction designs for sponsored search
 In Proceedings of the 7th ACM conference on Electronic commerce
, 2006
"... Billions of dollars are spent each year on sponsored search, a form of advertising where merchants pay for placement alongside web search results. Slots for ad listings are allocated via an auctionstyle mechanism where the higher a merchant bids, the more likely his ad is to appear above other ads ..."
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Cited by 69 (6 self)
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Billions of dollars are spent each year on sponsored search, a form of advertising where merchants pay for placement alongside web search results. Slots for ad listings are allocated via an auctionstyle mechanism where the higher a merchant bids, the more likely his ad is to appear above other ads on the page. In this paper we analyze the incentive, efficiency, and revenue properties of two slot auction designs: “rank by bid ” (RBB) and “rank by revenue” (RBR), which correspond to stylized versions of the mechanisms currently used by Yahoo! and Google, respectively. We also consider first and secondprice payment rules together with each of these allocation rules, as both have been used historically. We consider both the “shortrun ” incomplete information setting and the “longrun ” complete information setting. With incomplete information, neither RBB nor RBR are truthful with either first or second pricing. We find that the informational requirements of RBB are much weaker than those of RBR, but that RBR is efficient whereas RBB is not. We also show that no revenue ranking of RBB and RBR is possible given an arbitrary distribution over bidder values and relevance. With complete information, we find that no equilibrium exists with first pricing using either RBB or RBR. We show that there typically exists a multitude of equilibria with second pricing, and we bound the divergence of (economic) value in such equilibria from the value obtained assuming all merchants bid truthfully.
Issues in multiagent resource allocation
 INFORMATICA
, 2006
"... The allocation of resources within a system of autonomous agents, that not only have preferences over alternative allocations of resources but also actively participate in computing an allocation, is an exciting area of research at the interface of Computer Science and Economics. This paper is a sur ..."
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Cited by 69 (17 self)
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The allocation of resources within a system of autonomous agents, that not only have preferences over alternative allocations of resources but also actively participate in computing an allocation, is an exciting area of research at the interface of Computer Science and Economics. This paper is a survey of some of the most salient issues in Multiagent Resource Allocation. In particular, we review various languages to represent the preferences of agents over alternative allocations of resources as well as different measures of social welfare to assess the overall quality of an allocation. We also discuss pertinent issues regarding allocation procedures and present important complexity results. Our presentation of theoretical issues is complemented by a discussion of software packages for the simulation of agentbased market places. We also introduce four major application areas for Multiagent Resource Allocation, namely industrial procurement, sharing of satellite resources, manufacturing control, and grid computing.
Frugality in Path Auctions
 In Proceedings of the 15th Annual ACMSIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms
, 2003
"... We consider the problem of picking (buying) an inexpensive s t path in a graph where edges are owned by independent (selfish) agents, and the cost of an edge is known to its owner only. We study the problem of finding frugal mechanisms for this task, i.e. we investigate the payments the buyer m ..."
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Cited by 64 (3 self)
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We consider the problem of picking (buying) an inexpensive s t path in a graph where edges are owned by independent (selfish) agents, and the cost of an edge is known to its owner only. We study the problem of finding frugal mechanisms for this task, i.e. we investigate the payments the buyer must make in order to buy a path.
ApproximatelyStrategyproof and Tractable MultiUnit Auctions
, 2004
"... We present an approximatelyefficient and approximatelystrategyproof auction mechanism for a singlegood multiunit allocation problem. The bidding language allows marginaldecreasing piecewise constant curves and quantitybased side constraints. We develop a fully polynomialtime approximation sch ..."
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Cited by 54 (11 self)
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We present an approximatelyefficient and approximatelystrategyproof auction mechanism for a singlegood multiunit allocation problem. The bidding language allows marginaldecreasing piecewise constant curves and quantitybased side constraints. We develop a fully polynomialtime approximation scheme for the multiunit allocation problem, which computes a approximation in worstcase time , given bids each with a constant number of pieces. We integrate this approximation scheme within a VickreyClarke Groves mechanism and compute payments for an asymptotic cost of ! . The maximal possible gain from manipulation to a bidder in the combined scheme is bounded by 429416716 " is the total surplus in the efficient outcome.
Online Ascending Auctions for Gradually Expiring Items
 In SODA
, 2004
"... In this paper we consider online auction mechanisms for the allocation of M items that are identical to each other except for the fact that the items have dierent expiration times, and each item must be allocated before it expires. A computational application is the allocation of time slots in a ..."
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Cited by 49 (6 self)
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In this paper we consider online auction mechanisms for the allocation of M items that are identical to each other except for the fact that the items have dierent expiration times, and each item must be allocated before it expires. A computational application is the allocation of time slots in a scheduling problem, and an economic application is the allocation of transportation tickets.
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
Running to Keep the Same Place: Consumer Choice as a Game of Status
 AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW
, 2004
"... If individuals care about their status, defined as their rank in the distribution of consumption of one “positional ” good, then the consumer’s problem is strategic as her utility depends on the consumption choices of others. In the symmetric Nash equilibrium, each individual spends an inefficiently ..."
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Cited by 44 (6 self)
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If individuals care about their status, defined as their rank in the distribution of consumption of one “positional ” good, then the consumer’s problem is strategic as her utility depends on the consumption choices of others. In the symmetric Nash equilibrium, each individual spends an inefficientlyhighamountonthe status good. Using techniques from auction theory, we analyze the effects of exogenous changes in the distribution of income. In a richer society, almost all individuals spend more on conspicuous consumption, and individual utility is lower at each income level. In a more equal society, the poor are worse off.