A Truthful Mechanism for Offline Ad Slot Scheduling

  • Jon Feldman
  • S. Muthukrishnan
  • Evdokia Nikolova
  • Martin Pál
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4997)


We consider the Offline Ad Slot Scheduling problem, where advertisers must be scheduled to sponsored search slots during a given period of time. Advertisers specify a budget constraint, as well as a maximum cost per click, and may not be assigned to more than one slot for a particular search. We give a truthful mechanism under the utility model where bidders try to maximize their clicks, subject to their personal constraints. In addition, we show that the revenue-maximizing mechanism is not truthful, but has a Nash equilibrium whose outcome is identical to our mechanism. Our mechanism employs a descending-price auction that maintains a solution to a certain machine scheduling problem whose job lengths depend on the price, and hence are variable over the auction.


Nash Equilibrium Schedule Problem Dominant Strategy Electronic Commerce Feasible Schedule 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Abrams, Z., Mendelevitch, O., Tomlin, J.: Optimal delivery of sponsored search advertisements subject to budget constraints. In: ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (2007)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Aggarwal, G., Goel, A., Motwani, R.: Truthful auctions for pricing search keywords. In: ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC) (2006)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Arrow, K., Debreu, G.: Existence of an equilibrium for a competitive economy. Econometrica 22, 265–290 (1954)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Borgs, C., Chayes, J.T., Immorlica, N., Mahdian, M., Saberi, A.: Multi-unit auctions with budget-constrained bidders. In: ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC) (2005)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Deng, X., Papadimitriou, C., Safra, S.: On the complexity of equilibria. In: Proceedings of ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (2002)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Devanur, N., Papadimitriou, C., Saberi, A., Vazirani, V.: Market equilibrium via a primal-dual-type algorithm (2002)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Edelman, B., Ostrovsky, M., Schwarz, M.: Internet advertising and the generalized second price auction: Selling billions of dollars worth of keywords. In: Second workshop on sponsored search auctions (2006)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Eisenberg, E., Gale, D.: Consensus of subjective probabilities: The pari-mutuel method. Annals Of Mathematical Statistics 30(165) (1959)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Feldman, J., Nikolova, E., Muthukrishnan, S., Pál, M.: A truthful mechanism for offline ad slot scheduling (2007),
  10. 10.
    Gonzalez, T., Sahni, S.: Preemptive scheduling of uniform processing systems. Journal of the ACM 25, 92–101 (1978)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Graham, R.L., Lawler, E.L., Lenstra, J.K., Rinnooy Kan, A.H.G.: Optimization and approximation in deterministic sequencing and scheduling: a survey. Ann. Discrete Math. 4, 287–326 (1979)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Horvath, E.C., Lam, S., Sethi, R.: A level algorithm for preemptive scheduling. J. ACM 24(1), 32–43 (1977)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Johari, R., Tsitsiklis, J.N.: Efficiency loss in a network resource allocation game. Mathematics of Operations Research 29(3), 407–435 (2004)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kelly, F.: Charging and rate control for elastic traffic. European Transactions on Telecommunications 8, 33–37 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lahaie, S.: An analysis of alternative slot auction designs for sponsored search. In: ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC) (2006)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lahie, S., Pennock, D., Saberi, A., Vohra, R.: Sponsored Search Auctions. In: Algorithmic Game Theory, pp. 699–716. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mahdian, M., Nazerzadeh, H., Saberi, A.: Allocating online advertisement space with unreliable estimates. In: ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (2007)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Mahdian, M., Saberi, A.: Multi-unit auctions with unknown supply. In: ACM conference on Electronic commerce (EC) (2006)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mehta, A., Saberi, A., Vazirani, U., Vazirani, V.: AdWords and generalized online matching. In: FOCS (2005)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Nguyen, T., Tardos, E.: Approximately maximizing efficiency and revenue in polyhedral environments. In: ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC) (2007)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Varian, H.: Position auctions. International Journal of Industrial Organization 25(6), 1163–1178 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jon Feldman
    • 1
  • S. Muthukrishnan
    • 1
  • Evdokia Nikolova
    • 2
  • Martin Pál
    • 1
  1. 1.Google, Inc.USA
  2. 2.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA

Personalised recommendations