Getting More by Knowing Less: Bayesian Incentive Compatible Mechanisms for Fair Division

by   Vasilis Gkatzelis, et al.
Drexel University
Purdue University

We study fair resource allocation with strategic agents. It is well-known that, across multiple fundamental problems in this domain, truthfulness and fairness are incompatible. For example, when allocating indivisible goods, there is no truthful and deterministic mechanism that guarantees envy-freeness up to one item (EF1), even for two agents with additive valuations. Or, in cake-cutting, no truthful and deterministic mechanism always outputs a proportional allocation, even for two agents with piecewise-constant valuations. Our work stems from the observation that, in the context of fair division, truthfulness is used as a synonym for Dominant Strategy Incentive Compatibility (DSIC), requiring that an agent prefers reporting the truth, no matter what other agents report. In this paper, we instead focus on Bayesian Incentive Compatible (BIC) mechanisms, requiring that agents are better off reporting the truth in expectation over other agents' reports. We prove that, when agents know a bit less about each other, a lot more is possible: using BIC mechanisms we can overcome the aforementioned barriers that DSIC mechanisms face in both the fundamental problems of allocation of indivisible goods and cake-cutting. We prove that this is the case even for an arbitrary number of agents, as long as the agents' priors about each others' types satisfy a neutrality condition. En route to our results on BIC mechanisms, we also strengthen the state of the art in terms of negative results for DSIC mechanisms.


page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4


Chore Cutting: Envy and Truth

We study the fair division of divisible bad resources with strategic age...

Mechanism Design without Money for Fair Allocations

Fairness is well studied in the context of resource allocation. Research...

Quantized VCG Mechanisms for Polymatroid Environments

Many network resource allocation problems can be viewed as allocating a ...

Mechanism design for large scale systems

In this paper, we consider infinite number of non atomic self-interested...

FaRM: Fair Reward Mechanism for Information Aggregation in Spontaneous Localized Settings (Extended Version)

Although peer prediction markets are widely used in crowdsourcing to agg...

Truthful Cake Sharing

The classic cake cutting problem concerns the fair allocation of a heter...

Obvious Manipulations in Cake-Cutting

In cake-cutting, strategy-proofness is a very costly requirement in term...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset