Accounting Mechanisms for Distributed Work Systems

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Accounting Mechanisms for Distributed Work Systems

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Title: Accounting Mechanisms for Distributed Work Systems
Author: Seuken, Sven; Tang, Jie; Parkes, David C.

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Citation: Seuken, Sven, Jie Tang and David C. Parkes. 2010. "Accounting Mechanisms for Distributed Work Systems." In Proceedings of the 24th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI'10), July 11–15, 2010, Atlanta, Georgia, 860-866. Menlo Park, California: AAAI Press.
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Abstract: In distributed work systems, individual users perform work for other users. A significant challenge in these systems is to provide proper incentives for users to contribute as much work as they consume, even when monitoring is not possible. We formalize the problem of designing incentive-compatible accounting mechanisms that measure the net contributions of users, despite relying on voluntary reports. We introduce the Drop-Edge Mechanism that removes any incentive for a user to manipulate via misreports about work contributed or consumed. We prove that Drop-Edge provides a good approximation to a user’s net contribution, and is accurate in the limit as the number of users grows. We demonstrate very good welfare properties in simulation compared to an existing, manipulable mechanism. In closing, we discuss our ongoing work, including a real-world implementation and evaluation of the DropEdge Mechanism in a BitTorrent client.
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