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On Budget-Balanced Group-Strategyproof Cost-Sharing Mechanisms

  • Nicole Immorlica
  • Emmanouil Pountourakis
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7695)

Abstract

A cost-sharing mechanism defines how to share the cost of a service among serviced customers. It solicits bids from potential customers and selects a subset of customers to serve and a price to charge each of them. The mechanism is group-strategyproof if no subset of customers can gain by lying about their values. There is a rich literature that designs group-strategyproof cost-sharing mechanisms using schemes that satisfy a property called cross-monotonicity. Unfortunately, Immorlica et al. showed that for many services, cross-monotonic schemes are provably not budget-balanced, i.e., they can recover only a fraction of the cost. While cross-monotonicity is a sufficient condition for designing group-strategyproof mechanisms, it is not necessary. Pountourakis and Vidali recently provided a complete characterization of group-strategyproof mechanisms. We construct a fully budget-balanced cost-sharing mechanism for the edge-cover problem that is not cross-monotonic and we apply their characterization to show that it is group-strategyproof. This improves upon the cross-monotonic approach which can recover only half the cost, and provides a proof-of-concept as to the usefulness of the complete characterization. This raises the question of whether all “natural” problems have budget-balanced group-strategyproof mechanisms. We answer this question in the negative by designing a set-cover instance in which no group-strategyproof mechanism can recover more than a (18/19)-fraction of the cost.

Keywords

Maximum Match Budget Balance Edge Cover Steiner Forest Facility Location Game 
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 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicole Immorlica
    • 1
  • Emmanouil Pountourakis
    • 1
  1. 1.Northwestern UnviersityUSA

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