Online Mechanism Design (Randomized Rounding on the Fly)

  • Piotr Krysta
  • Berthold Vöcking
Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-31585-5_56

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7392)
Cite this paper as:
Krysta P., Vöcking B. (2012) Online Mechanism Design (Randomized Rounding on the Fly). In: Czumaj A., Mehlhorn K., Pitts A., Wattenhofer R. (eds) Automata, Languages, and Programming. ICALP 2012. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 7392. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg


We study incentive compatible mechanisms for combinatorial auctions (CAs) in an online model with sequentially arriving bidders, where the arrivals’ order is either random or adversarial. The bidders’ valuations are given by demand oracles. Previously known online mechanisms for CAs assume that each item is available at a certain multiplicity b > 1. Typically, one assumes b = Ω(logm), where m is the number of different items.

We present the first online mechanisms guaranteeing competitiveness for any multiplicity b ≥ 1. We introduce an online variant of oblivious randomized rounding enabling us to prove competitive ratios that are close to or even beat the best known offline approximation factors for various CAs settings. Our mechanisms are universally truthful, and they significantly improve on the previously known mechanisms.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Piotr Krysta
    • 1
  • Berthold Vöcking
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of LiverpoolUK
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceRWTH Aachen UniversityGermany

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