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Incentive-Compatible Classification

by   Yakov Babichenko, et al.

We investigate the possibility of an incentive-compatible (IC, a.k.a. strategy-proof) mechanism for the classification of agents in a network according to their reviews of each other. In the α-classification problem we are interested in selecting the top α fraction of users. We give upper bounds (impossibilities) and lower bounds (mechanisms) on the worst-case coincidence between the classification of an IC mechanism and the ideal α-classification. We prove bounds which depend on α and on the maximal number of reviews given by a single agent, Δ. Our results show that it is harder to find a good mechanism when α is smaller and Δ is larger. In particular, if Δ is unbounded, then the best mechanism is trivial (that is, it does not take into account the reviews). On the other hand, when Δ is sublinear in the number of agents, we give a simple, natural mechanism, with a coincidence ratio of α.


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