Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Algorithms

pp 970-973

Truthful Mechanisms for One-Parameter Agents

2001; Archer, Tardos
  • Moshe BabaioffAffiliated withMicrosoft Research, Silicon Valley

Keywords and Synonyms

Incentive compatible mechanisms; Dominant strategy mechanisms; Single‐parameter agents; Truthful auctions

Problem Definition

This problem is concerned with designing truthful (dominant strategy) mechanisms for problems where each agent's private information is expressed by a single positive real number. The goal of the mechanisms is to allocate loads placed on the agents, and an agent's private information is the cost she incurs per unit load. Archer and Tardos [4] give an exact characterization for the algorithms that can be used to design truthful mechanisms for such load‐balancing problems using appropriate side payments. The characterization shows that the allocated load must be monotonic in the cost (decreasing when the cost on an agent increases, fixing the costs of the others). Thus, truthful mechanisms are characterized by a condition on the allocation rule and on payments that ensures voluntary participation ...

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