Cheating by Men in the Gale-Shapley Stable Matching Algorithm

  • Chien-Chung Huang
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4168)


This paper addresses strategies for the stable marriage problem. For the Gale-Shapley algorithm with men proposing, a classical theorem states that it is impossible for every cheating man to get a better partner than the one he gets if everyone is truthful. We study how to circumvent this theorem and incite men to cheat. First we devise coalitions in which a non-empty subset of the liars get better partners and no man is worse off than before. This strategy is limited in that not everyone in the coalition has the incentive to falsify his list. In an attempt to rectify this situation we introduce the element of randomness, but the theorem shows surprising robustness: it is impossible that every liar has a chance to improve the rank of his partner while no one gets hurt. To overcome the problem that some men lack the motivation to lie, we exhibit another randomized lying strategy in which every liar can expect to get a better partner on average, though with a chance of getting a worse one. Finally, we consider a variant scenario: instead of using the Gale-Shapley algorithm, suppose the stable matching is chosen at random. We present a modified form of the coalition strategy ensuring that every man in the coalition has a new probability distribution over partners which majorizes the original one.


Stable Match Preference List Prefer Partner Discrete Apply Mathematic Good Partner 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chien-Chung Huang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceDartmouth CollegeUSA

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