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A Context-Integrated Transformer-Based Neural Network for Auction Design

01/29/2022
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by   Zhijian Duan, et al.
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One of the central problems in auction design is developing an incentive-compatible mechanism that maximizes the auctioneer's expected revenue. While theoretical approaches have encountered bottlenecks in multi-item auctions, recently, there has been much progress on finding the optimal mechanism through deep learning. However, these works either focus on a fixed set of bidders and items, or restrict the auction to be symmetric. In this work, we overcome such limitations by factoring public contextual information of bidders and items into the auction learning framework. We propose π™²π™Έπšƒπš›πšŠπš—πšœπ™½πšŽπš, a context-integrated transformer-based neural network for optimal auction design, which maintains permutation-equivariance over bids and contexts while being able to find asymmetric solutions. We show by extensive experiments that π™²π™Έπšƒπš›πšŠπš—πšœπ™½πšŽπš can recover the known optimal solutions in single-item settings, outperform strong baselines in multi-item auctions, and generalize well to cases other than those in training.

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