Self-Correcting Sampling-Based Dynamic Multi-Unit Auctions

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Self-Correcting Sampling-Based Dynamic Multi-Unit Auctions

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Title: Self-Correcting Sampling-Based Dynamic Multi-Unit Auctions
Author: Constantin, Florin; Parkes, David C.

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Constantin, Florin, and David C. Parkes. 2009. Self-correcting sampling-based dynamic multi-unit auctions. In Proceedings of the tenth ACM conference on Electronic commerce: July 6-10, 2009, Stanford, California, by J. Chuang, 89-98. New York: ACM Press.
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Abstract: We exploit methods of sample-based stochastic optimization for the purpose of strategyproof dynamic, multi-unit auctions. There are no analytic characterizations of optimal policies for this domain and thus a heuristic approach, such as that proposed here, seems necessary in practice. Following the suggestion of Parkes and Duong [17], we perform sensitivity analysis on the allocation decisions of an online algorithm for stochastic optimization, and correct the decisions to enable a strategyproof auction. In applying this approach to the allocation of non-expiring goods, the technical problem that we must address is related to achieving strategyproofness for reports of departure. This cannot be achieved through self-correction without canceling many allocation decisions, and must instead be achieved by first modifying the underlying algorithm. We introduce the NowWait method for this purpose, prove its successful interfacing with sensitivity analysis and demonstrate good empirical performance. Our method is quite general, requiring a technical property of uncertainty independence, and that values are not too positively correlated with agent patience. We also show how to incorporate "virtual valuations" in order to increase the seller's revenue.
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