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Algorithms for Recognizing Economic Properties in Matrix Bid Combinatorial Auctions

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A combinatorial auction is an auction where multiple items are for sale simultaneously to a set of buyers. Furthermore, buyers are allowed to place bids on subsets of the available items. This paper focuses on a combinatorial auction where a bidder can express his preferences by means of a so-called ordered matrix bid. Ordered matrix bids are a bidding language that allows a compact representation of a bidder's preferences and was developed by Day [Day, R. W. 2004. Expressing preferences with price-vector agents in combinatorial auctions. Ph.D. thesis, University of Maryland, College Park]. We give an overview of how a combinatorial auction with matrix bids works. We discuss the relevance of recognizing whether a given matrix bid has properties related to elements of economic theory such as free disposal, subadditivity, submodularity, and the gross substitutes property. We show that verifying whether a matrix bid has these properties can be done in polynomial time by solving one or more shortest-path problems. Finally, we investigate to what extent randomly generated matrix bids satisfy these properties.

    Research areas

  • combinatorial auction, matrix bids, free disposal, subadditivity, submodularity, gross substitutes, expressiveness, GROSS SUBSTITUTES, TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, WINNER DETERMINATION, EQUILIBRIUM, PROCUREMENT, INDIVISIBILITIES
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-352
Number of pages14
JournalInforms Journal on Computing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010