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We consider the problem of fairly allocating a set of indivisible goods among n agents with additive valuations, using the popular fairness notion of maximin share (MMS). Since MMS allocations do not always exist, a series of works provided existence and algorithms for approximate MMS allocations. The Garg-Taki algorithm gives the current best approximation factor of (3/4 + 1/12n). Most of these results are based on complicated analyses, especially those providing better than 2/3 factor. Moreover, since no tight example is known of the Garg-Taki algorithm, it is unclear if this is the best factor of this approach. In this paper, we significantly simplify the analysis of this algorithm and also improve the existence guarantee to a factor of (3/4 + min(1/36, 3/(16n-4))). For small n, this provides a noticeable improvement. Furthermore, we present a tight example of this algorithm, showing that this may be the best factor one can hope for with the current techniques.

We study fair division of indivisible chores among n agents with additive disutility functions. Two well-studied fairness notions for indivisible items are envy-freeness up to one/any item (EF1/EFX) and the standard notion of economic efficiency is Pareto optimality (PO). There is a noticeable gap between the results known for both EF1 and EFX in the goods and chores settings. The case of chores turns out to be much more challenging. We reduce this gap by providing slightly relaxed versions of the known results on goods for the chores setting. Interestingly, our algorithms run in polynomial time, unlike their analogous versions in the goods setting. We introduce the concept of k surplus in the chores setting which means that up to k more chores are allocated to the agents and each of them is a copy of an original chore. We present a polynomial-time algorithm which gives EF1 and PO allocations with n-1 surplus. We relax the notion of EFX slightly and define tEFX which requires that the envy from agent i to agent j is removed upon the transfer of any chore from the i's bundle to j's bundle. We give a polynomial-time algorithm that in the chores case for 3 agents returns an allocation which is either proportional or tEFX. Note that proportionality is a very strong criterion in the case of indivisible items, and hence both notions we guarantee are desirable.

Recent work in algorithmic mechanism design focuses on designing mechanisms for agents with bounded rationality, modifying the constraints that must be satisfied in order to achieve incentive compatibility. Starting with Li's strengthening of strategyproofness, obvious strategyproofness (OSP) requires truthtelling to be "obvious" over dishonesty, roughly meaning that the worst outcome from truthful actions must be no worse than the best outcome for dishonest ones. A celebrated result for dominant-strategy incentive-compatible mechanisms that allows us to restrict attention to direct mechanisms, known as the revelation principle, does not hold for OSP: the implementation details matter for the obvious incentive properties of the mechanism. Studying agent strategies in real-life mechanisms, Troyan and Morrill introduce a relaxation of strategyproofness known as non-obvious manipulability, which only requires comparing certain extrema of the agents' utility functions in order for a mechanism to be incentive-compatible. Specifically a mechanism is not obviously manipulable (NOM) if the best and worst outcomes when acting truthfully are no worse than the best and worst outcomes when acting dishonestly. In this work we first extend the cycle monotonicity framework for direct-revelation NOM mechanism design to indirect mechanisms. We then apply this to two settings, single-parameter agents and mechanisms for two agents in which one has a two-value domain, and show that under these models the revelation principle holds: direct mechanisms are just as powerful as indirect ones.

Most networks are not static objects, but instead they change over time. This observation has sparked rigorous research on temporal graphs within the last years. In temporal graphs, we have a fixed set of nodes and the connections between them are only available at certain time steps. This gives rise to a plethora of algorithmic problems on such graphs, most prominently the problem of finding temporal spanners, i.e., the computation of subgraphs that guarantee all pairs reachability via temporal paths. To the best of our knowledge, only centralized approaches for the solution of this problem are known. However, many real-world networks are not shaped by a central designer but instead they emerge and evolve by the interaction of many strategic agents. This observation is the driving force of the recent intensive research on game-theoretic network formation models. In this work we bring together these two recent research directions: temporal graphs and game-theoretic network formation. As a first step into this new realm, we focus on a simplified setting where a complete temporal host graph is given and the agents, corresponding to its nodes, selfishly create incident edges to ensure that they can reach all other nodes via temporal paths in the created network. This yields temporal spanners as equilibria of our game. We prove results on the convergence to and the existence of equilibrium networks, on the complexity of finding best agent strategies, and on the quality of the equilibria. By taking these first important steps, we uncover challenging open problems that call for an in-depth exploration of the creation of temporal graphs by strategic agents.

In most major cities and urban areas, residents form homogeneous neighborhoods along ethnic or socioeconomic lines. This phenomenon is widely known as residential segregation and has been studied extensively. Fifty years ago, Schelling proposed a landmark model that explains residential segregation in an elegant agent-based way. A recent stream of papers analyzed Schelling's model using game-theoretic approaches. However, all these works considered models with a given number of discrete types modeling different ethnic groups. We focus on segregation caused by non-categorical attributes, such as household income or position in a political left-right spectrum. For this, we consider agent types that can be represented as real numbers. This opens up a great variety of reasonable models and, as a proof of concept, we focus on several natural candidates. In particular, we consider agents that evaluate their location by the average type-difference or the maximum type-difference to their neighbors, or by having a certain tolerance range for type-values of neighboring agents.We study the existence and computation of equilibria and provide bounds on the Price of Anarchy and Stability. Also, we present simulation results that compare our models and shed light on the obtained equilibria for our variants.

In a delegation problem, a principal P with commitment power tries to pick one out of n options. Each option is drawn independently from a known distribution. Instead of inspecting the options herself, P delegates the information acquisition to a rational and self-interested agent A. After inspection, A proposes one of the options, and P can accept or reject. In this paper, we study a natural online variant of delegation, in which the agent searches through the options in an online fashion. How can we design algorithms for P that approximate the utility of her best option in hindsight? We show that P can obtain a Θ(1/n)-approximation and provide more fine-grained bounds independent of n based on two parameters. If the ratio of maximum and minimum utility for A is bounded by a factor α, we obtain an Ω(log log α / log α)-approximation algorithm and show that this is best possible. If P cannot distinguish options with the same value for herself, we show that ratios polynomial in 1/α cannot be avoided. If the utilities of P and A for each option are related by a factor β, we obtain an Ω(1 / log β)-approximation, and O(log log β / log β) is best possible.

We consider a multi-issue election setting over a set of possibly interdependent issues with the goal of achieving proportional representation of the views of the electorate. To this end, we employ a proportionality criterion suggested recently in the literature, that guarantees fair representation for all groups of voters of sufficient size. For this criterion, there exist rules that perform well in the case where all the issues have a binary domain and are independent of each other. In particular, this has been shown for Proportional Approval Voting (PAV) and for the Method of Equal Shares (MES). In this paper, we go two steps further: we generalize these guarantees for issues with a non-binary domain, and, most importantly, we consider extensions to elections with dependencies among issues, where we identify restrictions that lead to analogous results. To achieve this, we define appropriate generalizations of PAV and MES to handle conditional ballots. In addition to proportionality considerations, we also examine the computational properties of the conditional version of MES. Our findings indicate that the conditional case poses additional challenges and differs significantly from the unconditional one, both in terms of proportionality guarantees and computational complexity.

We study a scenario where an adjudication task (e.g., the resolution of a binary dispute) is outsourced to a set of agents who are appointed as jurors. This scenario is particularly relevant in a Web3 environment, where no verification of the adjudication outcome is possible, and the appointed agents are, in principle, indifferent to the final verdict. We consider simple adjudication mechanisms that use (1) majority voting to decide the final verdict and (2) a payment function to reward the agents with the majority vote and possibly punish the ones in the minority. Agents interact with such a mechanism strategically: they exert some effort to understand how to properly judge the dispute and cast a yes/no vote that depends on this understanding and on information they have about the rest of the votes. Eventually, they vote so that their utility (i.e., their payment from the mechanism minus the cost due to their effort) is maximized. Under reasonable assumptions about how an agent's effort is related to her understanding of the dispute, we show that appropriate payment functions can be used to recover the correct adjudication outcome with high probability. Our findings follow from a detailed analysis of the induced strategic game and make use of both theoretical arguments and simulation experiments.

For the fundamental problem of fairly dividing a set of indivisible items among agents, envy-freeness up to any item (EFX) and maximin fairness (MMS) are arguably the most compelling fairness concepts proposed till now. Unfortunately, despite significant efforts over the past few years, whether EFX allocations always exist is still an enigmatic open problem, let alone their efficient computation. Furthermore, today we know that MMS allocations are not always guaranteed to exist. These facts weaken the usefulness of both EFX and MMS, albeit their appealing conceptual characteristics. We propose two alternative fairness concepts—called epistemic EFX (EEFX) and minimum EFX value fairness (MXS)---inspired by EFX and MMS. For both, we explore their relationships to well-studied fairness notions and, more importantly, prove that EEFX and MXS allocations always exist and can be computed efficiently for additive valuations. Our results justify that the new fairness concepts are excellent alternatives to EFX and MMS.

We study four NP-hard optimal seat arrangement problems which each have as input a set of n agents, where each agent has cardinal preferences over other agents, and an n-vertex undirected graph (called the seat graph). The task is to assign each agent to a distinct vertex in the seat graph such that either the sum of utilities or the minimum utility is maximized, or it is envy-free or exchange-stable. Aiming at identifying hard and easy cases, we extensively study the algorithmic complexity of the four problems by looking into natural graph classes for the seat graph (e.g., paths, cycles, stars, or matchings), problem-specific parameters (e.g., the number of non-isolated vertices in the seat graph or the maximum number of agents towards whom an agent has non-zero preferences), and preference structures (e.g., non-negative or symmetric preferences). For strict preferences and seat graphs with disjoint edges and isolated vertices, we correct an error in the literature and show that finding an envy-free arrangement remains NP-hard in this case.

Recently, some studies on the fair allocation of indivisible goods notice a connection between a purely combinatorial problem called the Rainbow Cycle problem and a fairness notion known as EFX: assuming that the rainbow cycle number for parameter d (i.e. R(d)) is O(d^β .log(d)^γ), we can find a (1 − ϵ)-EFX allocation with O_ϵ(n^(β/β+1) .log(n)^(γ/β+1)) number of discarded goods. The best upper bound on R(d) is improved in a series of works to O(d^4), O(d^(2+o(1))), and finally to O(d^2). Also, via a simple observation, we have R(d) ∈ Ω(d). In this paper, we introduce another problem in extremal combinatorics. For a parameter l, we define the rainbow path degree and denote it by H(l). We show that any lower bound on H(l) yields an upper bound on R(d). Next, we prove that H(l) ∈ Ω(l^2 / log(l)) which yields an almost tight upper bound of R(d) ∈ Ω(d.log(d)). This, in turn, proves the existence of (1−ϵ)-EFX allocation with O_ϵ(√n .log(n)) number of discarded goods. In addition, for the special case of the Rainbow Cycle problem that the edges in each part form a permutation, we improve the upper bound to R(d) ≤ 2d−4. We leverage H(l) to achieve this bound. Our conjecture is that the exact value of H(l) is ⌊l^2/2⌋ − 1. We provide some experiments that support this conjecture. Assuming this conjecture is correct, we have R(d) ∈ θ(d).

Core-selecting combinatorial auctions (CAs) restrict the auction result in the core such that no coalitions could improve their utilities by engaging in collusion. The minimum-revenue-core (MRC) rule is a widely used core-selecting payment rule to maximize the total utilities of all bidders. However, the MRC rule can suffer from severe unfairness since it ignores individuals' utilities. To address this limitation, we propose to explore the leximin principle to achieve fairness in core-selecting CAs since the leximin principle prefers to maximize the utility of the worst-off; the resulting bidder-leximin-optimal (BLO) payment rule is then theoretically analyzed and an effective algorithm is further provided to compute the BLO outcome. Moreover, we conduct extensive experiments to show that our algorithm returns fairer utility distributions and is faster than existing algorithms of core-selecting payment rules.

We study a model inspired by deliberative practice, in which agents selectively disclose evidence about a set of alternatives prior to taking a final decision on them. We are interested in whether such a process, when iterated to termination, results in the objectively best alternatives being selected—thereby lending support to the idea that groups can be wise even when their members communicate with each other. We find that, under certain restrictions on the relative amounts of evidence, together with the actions available to the agents, there exist deliberation protocols in each of the two families we look at (i.e., simultaneous and sequential) that offer desirable guarantees. Simulation results further complement this picture, by showing how the distribution of evidence among the agents influences parameters of interest, such as the outcome of the protocols and the number of rounds until termination.

We study contention resolution (CR) on a shared channel modelled as a game with selfish players. There are n agents and the adversary chooses some k smaller than n of them as players. Each participating player in a CR game has a packet to transmit. A transmission is successful if it is performed as the only one at a round. Each player aims to minimize its packet latency. We introduce the notion of adversarial equilibrium (AE), which incorporates adversarial selection of players. We develop efficient deterministic communication algorithms that are also AE. We characterize the price of anarchy in the CR games with respect to AE.

We introduce new power indices to measure the a priori voting power of voters in liquid democracy elections where an underlying network restricts delegations. We argue that our power indices are natural extensions of the standard Penrose-Banzhaf index in simple voting games. We show that computing the criticality of a voter is #P-hard even in weighted games with weights polynomially-bounded in the size of the instance. However, for specific settings, such as when the underlying network is a bipartite or complete graph, recursive formulas can compute these indices for weighted voting games in pseudo-polynomial time. We highlight their theoretical properties and provide numerical results to illustrate how restricting the possible delegations can alter voters' voting power.

In rank aggregation, members of a population rank issues to decide which are collectively preferred. We focus instead on identifying divisive issues that express disagreements among the preferences of individuals. We analyse the properties of our divisiveness measures and their relation to existing notions of polarisation. We also study their robustness under incomplete preferences and algorithms for control and manipulation of divisiveness. Our results advance our understanding of how to quantify disagreements in collective decision-making.

Inferring bargainers' private valuations on items from their decisions is crucial for analyzing their strategic behaviors in bilateral sequential bargaining. Most existing approaches that infer agents' private information from observable data either rely on strong equilibrium assumptions or require a careful design of agents' behavior models. To overcome these weaknesses, we propose a Bayesian Learning-based Valuation Inference (BLUE) framework. Our key idea is to derive feasible intervals of bargainers' private valuations from their behavior data, using the fact that most bargainers do not choose strictly dominated strategies. We leverage these feasible intervals to guide our inference. Specifically, we first model each bargainer's behavior function (which maps his valuation and bargaining history to decisions) via a recurrent neural network. Second, we learn these behavior functions by utilizing a novel loss function defined based on feasible intervals. Third, we derive the posterior distributions of bargainers' valuations according to their behavior data and learned behavior functions. Moreover, we account for the heterogeneity of bargainer behaviors, and propose a clustering algorithm (K-Loss) to improve the efficiency of learning these behaviors. Experiments on both synthetic and real bargaining data show that our inference approach outperforms baselines.

A recent approach to automated mechanism design, differentiable economics, represents auctions by rich function approximators and optimizes their performance by gradient descent. The ideal auction architecture for differentiable economics would be perfectly strategyproof, support multiple bidders and items, and be rich enough to represent the optimal (i.e. revenue-maximizing) mechanism. So far, such an architecture does not exist. There are single-bidder approaches (MenuNet, RochetNet) which are always strategyproof and can represent optimal mechanisms. RegretNet is multi-bidder and can approximate any mechanism, but is only approximately strategyproof. We present an architecture that supports multiple bidders and is perfectly strategyproof, but cannot necessarily represent the optimal mechanism. This architecture is the classic affine maximizer auction (AMA), modified to offer lotteries. By using the gradient-based optimization tools of differentiable economics, we can now train lottery AMAs, competing with or outperforming prior approaches in revenue.

We investigate the difficulty of finding economically efficient solutions to coordination problems on graphs. Our work focuses on two forms of coordination problem: pure-coordination games and anti-coordination games. We consider three objectives in the context of simple binary-action polymatrix games: (i) maximizing welfare, (ii) maximizing potential, and (iii) finding a welfare-maximizing Nash equilibrium. We introduce an intermediate, new graph-partition problem, termed MWDP, which is of independent interest, and we provide a complexity dichotomy for it. This dichotomy, among other results, provides as a corollary a dichotomy for Objective (i) for general binary-action polymatrix games. In addition, it reveals that the complexity of achieving these objectives varies depending on the form of the coordination problem. Specifically, Objectives (i) and (ii) can be efficiently solved in pure-coordination games, but are NP-hard in anti-coordination games. Finally, we show that objective (iii) is NP-hard even for simple non-trivial pure-coordination games.

We study the election of sequences of committees, where in each of tau levels (e.g. modeling points in time) a committee consisting of k candidates from a common set of m candidates is selected. For each level, each of n agents (voters) may nominate one candidate whose selection would satisfy her. We are interested in committees which are good with respect to the satisfaction per day and per agent. More precisely, we look for egalitarian or equitable committee sequences. While both guarantee that at least x agents per day are satisfied, egalitarian committee sequences ensure that each agent is satisfied in at least y levels while equitable committee sequences ensure that each agent is satisfied in exactly y levels. We analyze the parameterized complexity of finding such committees for the parameters n, m, k, tau, x, and y, as well as combinations thereof.

We study discrete two player all-pay auction with complete information. We provide full characterization of mixed strategy Nash equilibria and show that they constitute a subset of Nash equilibria of discrete General Lotto game. We show that equilibria are not unique in general but they are interchangeable and sets of equilibrium strategies are convex. We also show that equilibrium payoffs are unique, unless valuation of at least one of the players is an even integer number. If equilibrium payoffs are not unique, continuum of equilibrium payoffs are possible.

We provide a library of participatory budgeting data (Pabulib) and open source tools (Pabutools and Pabustats) for analysing this data. We analyse how the results of participatory budgeting elections would change if a different selection rule was applied. We provide evidence that the outcomes of the Method of Equal Shares would be considerably fairer than those of the Utilitarian Greedy rule that is currently in use. We also show that the division of the projects into districts and/or categories can in many cases be avoided when using proportional rules. We find that this would increase the overall utility of the voters.

In this paper, we experimentally compare major approval based multiwinner voting rules. To this end, we define a measure of similarity between two equal sized committees subject to a given election. Using synthetic elections coming from several distributions, we analyze how similar are the committees provided by prominent voting rules. Our results can be visualized as maps of voting rules, which provide a counterpoint to a purely axiomatic classification of voting rules. The strength of our proposed method is its independence from preimposed classifications (such as the satisfaction of concrete axioms), and that it indeed offers a much finer distinction than the current state of axiomatic analysis.

We consider the notions of agreement, diversity, and polarization in ordinal elections (that is, in elections where voters rank the candidates). While (computational) social choice offers good measures of agreement between the voters, such measures for the other two notions are lacking. We attempt to rectify this issue by designing appropriate measures, providing means of their (approximate) computation, and arguing that they, indeed, capture diversity and polarization well. In particular, we present "maps of preference orders" that highlight relations between the votes in a given election and which help in making arguments about their nature.

Consider a market where a seller owns an item for sale and a buyer wants to purchase it. Each player has private information, known as their type. It can be costly and difficult for the players to reach an agreement through direct communication. However, with a mediator as a trusted third party, both players can communicate privately with the mediator without worrying about leaking too much or too little information. The mediator can design and commit to a multi-round communication protocol for both players, in which they update their beliefs about the other player's type. The mediator cannot force the players to trade but can influence their behaviors by sending messages to them. We study the problem of designing revenue-maximizing mechanisms for the mediator. We show that the mediator can, without loss of generality, focus on a set of direct and incentive-compatible mechanisms. We then formulate this problem as a mathematical program and provide an optimal solution in closed form under a regularity condition. Our mechanism is simple and has a threshold structure. We also discuss some interesting properties of the optimal mechanism, such as situations where the mediator may lose money.