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Automated Mechanism Design: A New Application Area for Search Algorithms

  • Tuomas Sandholm
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2833)

Abstract

Mechanism design is the art of designing the rules of the game (aka. mechanism) so that a desirable outcome (according to a given objective) is reached despite the fact that each agent acts in his own self-interest. Examples include the design of auctions, voting protocols, and divorce settlement procedures. Mechanisms have traditionally been designed manually for classes of problems. In 2002, Conitzer and Sandholm introduced the automated mechanism design approach, where the mechanism is computationally created for the specific problem instance at hand. This approach has several advantages: 1) it can yield better mechanisms than the ones known to date, 2) it applies beyond the problem classes studied manually to date, 3) it can circumvent seminal economic impossibility results, and 4) it shifts the burden of design from man to machine. In this write-up I overview the approach, focusing on problem representations, computational complexity, and initial applications. I also lay out an agenda for future research in this area.

Keywords

Mechanism Design Combinatorial Auction Optimal Mechanism Side Payment Incentive Compatibility Constraint 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tuomas Sandholm
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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