Skip to main content

Mechanisms with Monitoring for Truthful RAM Allocation

  • Conference paper
  • First Online:
Web and Internet Economics (WINE 2015)

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Computer Science ((LNISA,volume 9470))

Included in the following conference series:


Novel algorithmic ideas for big data have not been accompanied by advances in the way central memory is allocated to concurrently running programs. Commonly, RAM is poorly managed since the programs’ trade offs between speed of execution and RAM consumption are ignored. This trade off is, however, well known to the programmers. We adopt mechanism design tools to truthfully elicit this (multidimensional) information with the aim of designing more clever RAM allocation algorithms. We introduce a novel paradigm wherein programs are bound to overbidding declarations of their running times. We show the limitations of this paradigm in the absence of transfers and prove how to leverage waiting times, as a currency, to obtain optimal money burning mechanisms for the makespan.

Partially supported by the DFG grant ME 2088/3-1, EPSRC grant EP/M018113/1, and by MADALGO – Center for Massive Data Algorithmics, a Center of the Danish National Research Foundation.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Institutional subscriptions


  1. 1.

    For simplicity, throughout the paper we use ‘decreasing’ with the meaning ‘non-increasing’, and similarly we use ‘increasing’ instead of ‘non-decreasing’.

  2. 2.

    When these functions have a “large” representation, oracle queries are used just like in the Combinatorial Auctions (CA) literature [3], see preliminaries for a discussion.

  3. 3.

    This might be implemented by letting the mechanism hold back the results of the computation whenever the program terminates before the reported time.

  4. 4.

    Specifically, Nisan and Ronen embedded the monitoring assumption in their ‘mechanisms with verification’, but here we use the term verification in a different sense.

  5. 5.

    Even though we depart from much of the recent literature (see, e.g., [8, 14] and references therein) on mechanisms with verification, which uses no monitoring, we remark that using similar arguments, one can prove the same dichotomy also in that weaker model.

  6. 6.

    For the definition of ‘minimally implements’, see the Preliminaries.


  1. Auletta, V., De Prisco, R., Penna, P., Persiano, G.: How to route and tax selfish unsplittable traffic. In: SPAA, pp. 196–205 (2004)

    Google Scholar 

  2. Ben-Porath, E., Dekel, E., Lipman, B.L.: Optimal allocation with costly verification. Am. Econ. Rev. 104(12), 3779–3813 (2014)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Blumrosen, L., Nisan, N.: On the computational power of demand queries. SIAM J. Comput. 39(4), 1372–1391 (2009)

    Article  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  4. Christodoulou, G., Gourvès, L., Pascual, F.: Scheduling selfish tasks: about the performance of truthful algorithms. In: Lin, G. (ed.) COCOON 2007. LNCS, vol. 4598, pp. 187–197. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  5. Christodoulou, G., Koutsoupias, E., Nanavati, A.: Coordination mechanisms. In: Díaz, J., Karhumäki, J., Lepistö, A., Sannella, D. (eds.) ICALP 2004. LNCS, vol. 3142, pp. 345–357. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  6. Dementiev, R., Kettner, L., Sanders, P.: STXXL: standard template library for XXL data sets. Softw. Pract. Exper. 38(6), 589–637 (2008)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Fiat, A., Karp, R., Luby, M., McGeoch, L., Sleator, D., Young, N.: Competitive paging algorithms. J. Algorithms 12(4), 685–699 (1991)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Fotakis, D., Krysta, P., Ventre, C.: Combinatorial auctions without money. In: AAMAS, pp. 1029–1036 (2014)

    Google Scholar 

  9. Fotakis, D., Krysta, P., Ventre, C.: The power of verification for greedy mechanism design. In: AAMAS, pp. 307–315 (2015)

    Google Scholar 

  10. Hartline, J.D., Roughgarden,T.: Optimal mechanism design and money burning. In: STOC, pp. 75–84 (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  11. Krysta, P., Ventre, C.: Combinatorial auctions with verification are tractable. Theoret. Comput. Sci. 571, 21–35 (2015)

    Article  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  12. Meyer, U., Sanders, P., Sibeyn, J.F. (eds.): Algorithms for Memory Hierarchies. LNCS, vol. 2625. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)

    Google Scholar 

  13. Nisan, N., Ronen, A.: Algorithmic mechanism design. Games Econ. Behav. 35, 166–196 (2001)

    Article  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  14. Penna, P., Ventre, C.: Optimal collusion-resistant mechanisms with verification. Games Econ. Behav. 86, 491–509 (2014)

    Article  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  15. Rochet, J.-C.: A condition for rationalizability in a quasi-linear context. J. Math. Econ. 16, 191–200 (1987)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Ventre, C.: Truthful optimization using mechanisms with verification. Theoret. Comput. Sci. 518, 64–79 (2014)

    Article  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  17. Vitter, J.S.: Algorithms and data structures for external memory. Found. Trends Theoret. Comput. Sci. 2(4), 305–474 (2006)

    Article  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  18. Vohra, R.V.: Mechanism Design: A Linear Programming Approach. Cambridge University Press, New York (2011)

    Book  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ulrich Meyer .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

About this paper

Cite this paper

Kovács, A., Meyer, U., Ventre, C. (2015). Mechanisms with Monitoring for Truthful RAM Allocation. In: Markakis, E., Schäfer, G. (eds) Web and Internet Economics. WINE 2015. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 9470. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-662-48994-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-662-48995-6

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics