Mechanism Design for Time Critical and Cost Critical Task Execution via Crowdsourcing
An exciting application of crowdsourcing is to use social networks in complex task execution. In this paper, we address the problem of a planner who needs to incentivize agents within a network in order to seek their help in executing an atomic task as well as in recruiting other agents to execute the task. We study this mechanism design problem under two natural resource optimization settings: (1) cost critical tasks, where the planner’s goal is to minimize the total cost, and (2) time critical tasks, where the goal is to minimize the total time elapsed before the task is executed. We identify a set of desirable properties that should ideally be satisfied by a crowdsourcing mechanism. In particular, sybil-proofness and collapse-proofness are two complementary properties in our desiderata. We prove that no mechanism can satisfy all the desirable properties simultaneously. This leads us naturally to explore approximate versions of the critical properties. We focus our attention on approximate sybil-proofness and our exploration leads to a parametrized family of payment mechanisms which satisfy collapse-proofness. We characterize the approximate versions of the desirable properties in cost critical and time critical domain.
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