Is Shapley Cost Sharing Optimal?

  • Shahar Dobzinski
  • Aranyak Mehta
  • Tim Roughgarden
  • Mukund Sundararajan
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4997)


We study the best guarantees of efficiency approximation achievable by cost-sharing mechanisms. Our main result is the first quantitative lower bound that applies to all truthful cost-sharing mechanisms, including randomized mechanisms that are only truthful in expectation, and only β-budget-balanced in expectation. Our lower bound is optimal up to constant factors and applies even to the simple and central special case of the public excludable good problem. We also give a stronger lower bound for a subclass of deterministic cost-sharing mechanisms, which is driven by a new characterization of the Shapley value mechanism. Finally, we show a separation between the best-possible efficiency guarantees achievable by deterministic and randomized cost-sharing mechanisms.


Social Cost Equal Treatment Combinatorial Auction Consumer Sovereignty Truthful Mechanism 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shahar Dobzinski
    • 1
  • Aranyak Mehta
    • 2
  • Tim Roughgarden
    • 3
  • Mukund Sundararajan
    • 3
  1. 1.The School of Computer Science and EngineeringThe Hebrew University of JerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Google, Inc.USA
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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