Incentive-Compatible Selection Mechanisms for Forests

05/31/2020
by   Yakov Babichenko, et al.
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Given a directed forest-graph, a probabilistic selection mechanism is a probability distribution over the vertex set. A selection mechanism is incentive-compatible (IC), if the probability assigned to a vertex does not change when we alter its outgoing edge (or even remove it). The quality of a selection mechanism is the worst-case ratio between the expected progeny under the mechanism's distribution and the maximal progeny in the forest. In this paper we prove an upper bound of 4/5 and a lower bound of 1/ln16≈0.36 for the quality of any IC selection mechanism. The lower bound is achieved by two novel mechanisms and is a significant improvement to the results of Babichenko et al. (WWW '18). The first, simpler mechanism, has the nice feature of generating distributions which are fair (i.e., monotone and proportional). The downside of this mechanism is that it is not exact (i.e., the probabilities might sum-up to less than 1). Our second, more involved mechanism, is exact but not fair. We also prove an impossibility for an IC mechanism that is both exact and fair and has a positive quality.

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