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139
Sharing the Cost of Multicast Transmissions
, 2001
"... We investigate costsharing algorithms for multicast transmission. Economic considerations point to two distinct mechanisms, marginal cost and Shapley value, as the two solutions most appropriate in this context. We prove that the former has a natural algorithm that uses only two messages per link o ..."
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Cited by 284 (16 self)
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We investigate costsharing algorithms for multicast transmission. Economic considerations point to two distinct mechanisms, marginal cost and Shapley value, as the two solutions most appropriate in this context. We prove that the former has a natural algorithm that uses only two messages per link of the multicast tree, while we give evidence that the latter requires a quadratic total number of messages. We also show that the welfare value achieved by an optimal multicast tree is NPhard to approximate within any constant factor, even for boundeddegree networks. The lowerbound proof for the Shapley value uses a novel algebraic technique for bounding from below the number of messages exchanged in a distributed computation; this technique may prove useful in other contexts as well.
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 232 (3 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.
Mechanism design via differential privacy
 Proceedings of the 48th Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science
, 2007
"... We study the role that privacypreserving algorithms, which prevent the leakage of specific information about participants, can play in the design of mechanisms for strategic agents, which must encourage players to honestly report information. Specifically, we show that the recent notion of differen ..."
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Cited by 212 (3 self)
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We study the role that privacypreserving algorithms, which prevent the leakage of specific information about participants, can play in the design of mechanisms for strategic agents, which must encourage players to honestly report information. Specifically, we show that the recent notion of differential privacy [15, 14], in addition to its own intrinsic virtue, can ensure that participants have limited effect on the outcome of the mechanism, and as a consequence have limited incentive to lie. More precisely, mechanisms with differential privacy are approximate dominant strategy under arbitrary player utility functions, are automatically resilient to coalitions, and easily allow repeatability. We study several special cases of the unlimited supply auction problem, providing new results for digital goods auctions, attribute auctions, and auctions with arbitrary structural constraints on the prices. As an important prelude to developing a privacypreserving auction mechanism, we introduce and study a generalization of previous privacy work that accommodates the high sensitivity of the auction setting, where a single participant may dramatically alter the optimal fixed price, and a slight change in the offered price may take the revenue from optimal to zero. 1
On ProfitMaximizing Envyfree Pricing
"... We study the problem of pricing items for sale to consumers so as to maximize the seller’s revenue. We assume that for each consumer, we know the maximum amount he would be willing to pay for each bundle of items, and want to find pricings of the items with corresponding allocations that maximize se ..."
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Cited by 122 (12 self)
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We study the problem of pricing items for sale to consumers so as to maximize the seller’s revenue. We assume that for each consumer, we know the maximum amount he would be willing to pay for each bundle of items, and want to find pricings of the items with corresponding allocations that maximize seller profit and at the same time are envyfree, which is a natural fairness criterion requiring that consumers are maximally happy with the outcome they receive given the pricing. We study this problem for two important classes of inputs: unit demand consumers, who want to buy at most one item from among a selection they are interested in, and singleminded consumers, who want to buy one particular subset, but only if they can afford it. We show that computing envyfree prices to maximize the seller’s revenue is APXhard in both of these cases, and give a logarithmic approximation algorithm for them. For several interesting special cases, we derive polynomialtime algorithms. Furthermore, we investigate some connections with the corresponding mechanism design problem, in which the consumer’s preferences are private values: for this case, we give a logcompetitive 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 119 (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
"... We study a class of singleround, sealedbid auctions for an item in unlimited supply, such as adigital good. We introduce the notion of competitive auctions. A competitive auction is truthful (i.e., encourages bidders to bid their true valuations) and on all inputs yields profit that is withina co ..."
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Cited by 113 (11 self)
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We study a class of singleround, sealedbid auctions for an item in unlimited supply, such as adigital good. We introduce the notion of competitive auctions. A competitive auction is truthful (i.e., encourages bidders to bid their true valuations) and on all inputs yields profit that is withina constant factor of the profit of the optimal single sale price. We justify the use of optimal single price profit as a benchmark for evaluating a competitive auctions profit. We exhibitseveral randomized competitive auctions and show that there is no symmetric deterministic competitive auction. Our results extend to bounded supply markets, for which we also givecompetitive auctions.
An Approximate Truthful Mechanism for Combinatorial Auctions with Single Parameter Agents
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Competitive Generalized Auctions
, 2002
"... We describe mechanisms for auctions that are simultaneously truthful (alternately known as strategyproof or incentivecompatible) and guarantee high "net" profit. We make use of appropriate variants of competitive analysis of algorithms in designing and analyzing our mechanisms. Thus, we ..."
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Cited by 93 (20 self)
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We describe mechanisms for auctions that are simultaneously truthful (alternately known as strategyproof or incentivecompatible) and guarantee high "net" profit. We make use of appropriate variants of competitive analysis of algorithms in designing and analyzing our mechanisms. Thus, we do not require any probabilistic assumptions on bids. We present
Multiunit auctions with budgetconstrained bidders
 In Proceedings of the 7th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce
, 2005
"... We study a multiunit auction with multiple bidders, each of whom has a private valuation and a budget. The truthful mechanisms of such an auction are characterized, in the sense that, under standard assumptions, we prove that it is impossible to design a nontrivial truthful auction which allocates ..."
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Cited by 92 (10 self)
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We study a multiunit auction with multiple bidders, each of whom has a private valuation and a budget. The truthful mechanisms of such an auction are characterized, in the sense that, under standard assumptions, we prove that it is impossible to design a nontrivial truthful auction which allocates all units, while we provide the design of an asymptotically revenuemaximizing truthful mechanism which may allocate only some of the units. Our asymptotic parameter is a budget dominance parameter which measures the size of the budget of a single agent relative to the maximum revenue. We discuss the relevance of these results for the design of Internet ad auctions.
Knapsack auctions
"... We consider a game theoretic knapsack problem that has application to auctions for selling advertisements on Internet search engines. Consider n agents each wishing to place an object in the knapsack. Each agent has a private valuation for having their object in the knapsack and each object has a pu ..."
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Cited by 76 (13 self)
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We consider a game theoretic knapsack problem that has application to auctions for selling advertisements on Internet search engines. Consider n agents each wishing to place an object in the knapsack. Each agent has a private valuation for having their object in the knapsack and each object has a publicly known size. For this setting, we consider the design of auctions in which agents have an incentive to truthfully reveal their private valuations. Following the framework of Goldberg et al. [10], we look to design an auction that obtains a constant fraction of the profit obtainable by a natural optimal pricing algorithm that knows the agents ’ valuations and object sizes. We give an auction that obtains a constant factor approximation in the nontrivial special case where the knapsack has unlimited capacity. We then reduce the limited capacity version of the problem to the unlimited capacity version via an approximately efficient auction (i.e., one that maximizes the social welfare). This reduction follows from generalizable principles.