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52
Approximate Mechanism Design Without Money
, 2009
"... The literature on algorithmic mechanism design is mostly concerned with gametheoretic versions of optimization problems to which standard economic moneybased mechanisms cannot be applied efficiently. Recent years have seen the design of various truthful approximation mechanisms that rely on enforc ..."
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Cited by 58 (14 self)
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The literature on algorithmic mechanism design is mostly concerned with gametheoretic versions of optimization problems to which standard economic moneybased mechanisms cannot be applied efficiently. Recent years have seen the design of various truthful approximation mechanisms that rely on enforcing payments. In this paper, we advocate the reconsideration of highly structured optimization problems in the context of mechanism design. We explicitly argue for the first time that, in such domains, approximation can be leveraged to obtain truthfulness without resorting to payments. This stands in contrast to previous work where payments are ubiquitous, and (more often than not) approximation is a necessary evil that is required to circumvent computational complexity. We present a case study in approximate mechanism design without money. In our basic setting agents are located on the real line and the mechanism must select the location of a public facility; the cost of an agent is its distance to the facility. We establish tight upper and lower bounds for the approximation ratio given by strategyproof mechanisms without payments, with respect to both deterministic and randomized mechanisms, under two objective functions: the social cost, and the maximum cost. We then extend our results in two natural directions: a domain where two facilities must be located, and a domain where each agent controls multiple locations.
Coordination mechanisms
 PROCEEDINGS OF THE 31ST INTERNATIONAL COLLOQUIUM ON AUTOMATA, LANGUAGES AND PROGRAMMING, IN: LECTURE NOTES IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
, 2004
"... We introduce the notion of coordination mechanisms to improve the performance in systems with independent selfish and noncolluding agents. The quality of a coordination mechanism is measured by its price of anarchy—the worstcase performance of a Nash equilibrium over the (centrally controlled) soc ..."
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Cited by 57 (5 self)
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We introduce the notion of coordination mechanisms to improve the performance in systems with independent selfish and noncolluding agents. The quality of a coordination mechanism is measured by its price of anarchy—the worstcase performance of a Nash equilibrium over the (centrally controlled) social optimum. We give upper and lower bounds for the price of anarchy for selfish task allocation and congestion games.
Singlevalue combinatorial auctions and algorithmic implementation in undominated strategies
 In ACM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms
, 2011
"... In this paper we are interested in general techniques for designing mechanisms that approximate the social welfare in the presence of selfish rational behavior. We demonstrate our results in the setting of Combinatorial Auctions (CA). Our first result is a general deterministic technique to decouple ..."
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Cited by 26 (2 self)
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In this paper we are interested in general techniques for designing mechanisms that approximate the social welfare in the presence of selfish rational behavior. We demonstrate our results in the setting of Combinatorial Auctions (CA). Our first result is a general deterministic technique to decouple the algorithmic allocation problem from the strategic aspects, by a procedure that converts any algorithm to a dominantstrategy ascending mechanism. This technique works for any single value domain, in which each agent has the same value for each desired outcome, and this value is the only private information. In particular, for “singlevalue CAs”, where each player desires any one of several different bundles but has the same value for each of them, our technique converts any approximation algorithm to a dominant strategy mechanism that almost preserves the original approximation ratio. Our second result provides the first computationally efficient deterministic mechanism for the case of singlevalue multiminded bidders (with private value and private desired bundles). The mechanism achieves an approximation to the social welfare which is close to the best possible in polynomial time (unless P=NP). This mechanism is an algorithmic implementation in undominated strategies, a notion that we define and justify, and is of independent interest. 1
An Optimal Lower Bound for Anonymous Scheduling Mechanisms
"... We consider the problem of designing truthful mechanisms to minimize the makespan on m unrelated machines. In their seminal paper, Nisan and Ronen [14] showed a lower bound of 2, and an upper bound of m, thus leaving a large gap. They conjectured that their upper bound is tight, but were unable to p ..."
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Cited by 24 (2 self)
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We consider the problem of designing truthful mechanisms to minimize the makespan on m unrelated machines. In their seminal paper, Nisan and Ronen [14] showed a lower bound of 2, and an upper bound of m, thus leaving a large gap. They conjectured that their upper bound is tight, but were unable to prove it. Despite many attempts that yield positive results for several special cases, the conjecture is far from being solved: the lower bound was only recently slightly increased to 2.61 [5, 10], while the best upper bound remained unchanged. In this paper we show the optimal lower bound on truthful anonymous mechanisms: no such mechanism can guarantee an approximation ratio better than m. This is the first concrete evidence to the correctness of the NisanRonen conjecture, especially given that the classic scheduling algorithms are anonymous, and all stateoftheart mechanisms for special cases of the problem are anonymous as well.
Mechanism design for fractional scheduling on unrelated machines
 Automata, Languages and Programming
, 2007
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AN IMPROVED RANDOMIZED TRUTHFUL MECHANISM FOR SCHEDULING UNRELATED MACHINES
, 2008
"... We study the scheduling problem on unrelated machines in the mechanism design setting. This problem was proposed and studied in the seminal paper of Nisan and Ronen [NR99], where they gave a 1.75approximation randomized truthful mechanism for the case of two machines. We improve this result by a 1 ..."
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Cited by 14 (1 self)
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We study the scheduling problem on unrelated machines in the mechanism design setting. This problem was proposed and studied in the seminal paper of Nisan and Ronen [NR99], where they gave a 1.75approximation randomized truthful mechanism for the case of two machines. We improve this result by a 1.6737approximation randomized truthful mechanism. We also generalize our result to a 0.8368mapproximation mechanism for task scheduling with m machines, which improve the previous best upper bound of 0.875m [MS07].
A lower bound of 1+φ for truthful scheduling mechanisms
 In The Proc. of the 32nd International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (MFCS
"... Abstract. We give an improved lower bound for the approximation ratio of truthful mechanisms for the unrelated machines scheduling problem. The mechanism design version of the problem which was proposed and studied in a seminal paper of Nisan and Ronen is at the core of the emerging area of Algorith ..."
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Cited by 13 (3 self)
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Abstract. We give an improved lower bound for the approximation ratio of truthful mechanisms for the unrelated machines scheduling problem. The mechanism design version of the problem which was proposed and studied in a seminal paper of Nisan and Ronen is at the core of the emerging area of Algorithmic Game Theory. The new lower bound 1 + φ ≈ 2.618 is a step towards the final resolution of this important problem. 1
A characterization of 2player mechanisms for scheduling
, 2008
"... We study the mechanism design problem of scheduling unrelated machines and we completely characterize the decisive truthful mechanisms for two players when the domain contains both positive and negative values. We show that the class of truthful mechanisms is very limited: A decisive truthful mechan ..."
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Cited by 13 (5 self)
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We study the mechanism design problem of scheduling unrelated machines and we completely characterize the decisive truthful mechanisms for two players when the domain contains both positive and negative values. We show that the class of truthful mechanisms is very limited: A decisive truthful mechanism partitions the tasks into groups so that the tasks in each group are allocated independently of the other groups. Tasks in a group of size at least two are allocated by an affine minimizer and tasks in singleton groups by a taskindependent mechanism. This characterization is about all truthful mechanisms, including those with unbounded approximation ratio. A direct consequence of this approach is that the approximation ratio of mechanisms for two players is 2, even for two tasks. In fact, it follows that for two players, VCG is the unique algorithm with optimal approximation 2. This characterization provides some support that any decisive truthful mechanism (for 3 or more players) partitions the tasks into groups some of which are allocated by affine minimizers, while the rest are allocated by a threshold mechanism (in which a task is allocated to a player when it is below a threshold value which depends only on the values of the other players). We also show here that the class of threshold mechanisms is identical to the class of additive mechanisms.
A truthful mechanism for valuebased scheduling in cloud computing.
 In SAGT.
, 2011
"... Abstract. We introduce a novel pricing and resource allocation approach for batch jobs on cloud systems. In our economic model, users submit jobs with a value function that specifies willingness to pay as a function of job due dates. The cloud provider in response allocates a subset of these jobs, ..."
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Cited by 11 (2 self)
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Abstract. We introduce a novel pricing and resource allocation approach for batch jobs on cloud systems. In our economic model, users submit jobs with a value function that specifies willingness to pay as a function of job due dates. The cloud provider in response allocates a subset of these jobs, taking into advantage the flexibility of allocating resources to jobs in the cloud environment. Focusing on socialwelfare as the system objective (especially relevant for private or inhouse clouds), we construct a resource allocation algorithm which provides a small approximation factor that approaches 2 as the number of servers increases. An appealing property of our scheme is that jobs are allocated nonpreemptively, i.e., jobs run in one shot without interruption. This property has practical significance, as it avoids significant network and storage resources for checkpointing. Based on this algorithm, we then design an efficient truthfulinexpectation mechanism, which significantly improves the running complexity of blackbox reduction mechanisms that can be applied to the problem, thereby facilitating its implementation in real systems.