Betting on the Real Line

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Abstract

We study the problem of designing prediction markets for random variables with continuous or countably infinite outcomes on the real line. Our interval betting languages allow traders to bet on any interval of their choice. Both the call market mechanism and two automated market maker mechanisms, logarithmic market scoring rule (LMSR) and dynamic parimutuel markets (DPM), are generalized to handle interval bets on continuous or countably infinite outcomes. We examine problems associated with operating these markets. We show that the auctioneer’s order matching problem for interval bets can be solved in polynomial time for call markets. DPM can be generalized to deal with interval bets on both countably infinite and continuous outcomes and remains to have bounded loss. However, in a continuous-outcome DPM, a trader may incur loss even if the true outcome is within her betting interval. The LMSR market maker suffers from unbounded loss for both countably infinite and continuous outcomes.