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Autonomous coalitions

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We consider in this paper solutions for TU-games where it is not assumed that the grand coalition is necessarily the final state of cooperation. Partitions of the grand coalition, or balanced collections together with a system of balancing weights interpreted as a time allocation vector are considered as possible states of cooperation. The former case corresponds to the c-core, while the latter corresponds to the aspiration core or d-core, where in both case, the best configuration (called a maximising collection) is sought. We study maximising collections and characterize them with autonomous coalitions, that is, coalitions for which any solution of the d-core yields a payment for that coalition equal to its worth. In particular we show that the collection of autonomous coalitions is balanced, and that one cannot have at the same time a single possible payment (core element) and a single possible configuration. We also introduce the notion of inescapable coalitions, that is, those present in every maximising collection. We characterize the class of games for which the sets of autonomous coalitions, vital coalitions (in the sense of Shellshear and Sudhölter), and inescapable coalitions coincide, and prove that the set of games having a unique maximising coalition is dense in the set of games.

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  1. Although usually it is interpreted as an amount of resources (Kannai 1992).

  2. See also Albers (1974) and Turbay (1977).

  3. More precisely a maximising collection of strongly vital-exact coalitions.


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Correspondence to Stéphane Gonzalez.

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We wish to thank Peter Sudhölter for his helpful comments.

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Gonzalez, S., Grabisch, M. Autonomous coalitions. Ann Oper Res 235, 301–317 (2015).

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