Mechanisms for Multi-unit Combinatorial Auctions with a Few Distinct Goods

Piotr Krysta, Orestis Telelis, Carmine Ventre

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    We design and analyze deterministic truthful approximation mechanisms for multiunit Combinatorial Auctions involving only a constant number of distinct goods, each in arbitrary limited supply. Prospective buyers (bidders) have preferences over multisets of items, i.e., for more than one unit per distinct good. Our objective is to determine allocations of multisets that maximize the Social Welfare. Our main results are for multi- minded and submodular bidders. In the rst setting each bidder has a positive value for being allocated one multiset from a prespecied demand set of alternatives. In the second setting each bidder is associated to a submodular valuation function that denes his value for the multiset he is allocated. For multi-minded bidders, we design a truthful Fptas that fully optimizes the Social Welfare, while violating the supply constraints on goods within factor (1+), for any xed > 0 (i.e., the approximation applies to the constraints and not to the Social Welfare). This result is best possible, in that full optimization is impossible without violating the supply constraints. For submodular bidders, we obtain a Ptas that approximates the optimum Social Welfare within factor (1 + ), for any xed > 0, without violating the supply constraints. This result is best possible as well. Our allocation algorithms are Maximal-in-Range and yield truthful mechanisms, when paired with Vickrey-Clarke-Groves payments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)721-744
    JournalJournal of Artificial Intelligence Research
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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