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Matching Couples with Scarf's Algorithm

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  • Peter Biro

    ()
    (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

  • Tamas Fleiner

    ()
    (Department of Computer Science and Information Theory, Budapest University of Technology and Economics)

  • Rob Irving

    ()
    (School of Computing Science, University of Glasgow)

Abstract

Scarf's algorithm [18] provides fractional core elements for NTU-games. Bir¢ and Fleiner [3] showed that Scarf's algorithm can be extended for capacitated NTU-games. In this setting agents can be involved in more than one coalition at a time, cooperations may be performed with different intensities up to some limits, and the contribution of the agents can also differ in a coalition. The fractional stable solutions for the above model, produced by the extended Scarf algorithm, are called stable allocations. In this paper we apply this solution concept for the Hospitals Residents problem with Couples (HRC). This is one of the most important general stable matching problems due to its relevant applications, also well-known to be NP-hard. We show that if a stable allocation yielded by the Scarf algorithm turns outto be integral then it provides a stable matching for an instance of HRC, so this method can be used as a heuristic. In an experimental study, we compare this method with other heuristics constructed for HRC that are applied in practice in the American and Scottish resident allocation programs, respectively. Our main finding is that the Scarf algorithm outperforms all the other known heuristics when the proportion of couples is high.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in its series IEHAS Discussion Papers with number 1330.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:1330

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Keywords: Scarf lemma; stable allocation; hospitals residents problem; couples;

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References

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  1. Alvin E. Roth, 2007. "Deferred Acceptance Algorithms: History, Theory, Practice, and Open Questions," NBER Working Papers 13225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Péter Biró & Flip Klijn, 2013. "Matching With Couples: A Multidisciplinary Survey," International Game Theory Review (IGTR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 15(02), pages 1340008-1-1.
  3. Bettina Klaus & Flip Klijn, 2004. "Stable Matchings and Preferences of Couples," Working Papers 117, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  4. Klaus, Bettina & Klijn, Flip & Nakamura, Toshifumi, 2007. "Corrigendum: Stable Matchings and Preferences of Couples," Research Memorandum 025, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  5. Bettina Klaus & Flip Klijn & Jordi Massó, 2007. "Some things couples always wanted to know about stable matchings (but were afraid to ask)," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 175-184, November.
  6. Peter Biro & Tamas Fleiner, 2012. "Fractional solutions for capacitated NTU-games, with applications to stable matchings," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1234, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  7. Alvin E. Roth & Elliott Peranson, 1999. "The Redesign of the Matching Market for American Physicians: Some Engineering Aspects of Economic Design," NBER Working Papers 6963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Roth, Alvin E, 1984. "The Evolution of the Labor Market for Medical Interns and Residents: A Case Study in Game Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 991-1016, December.
  9. Peter Biro & Sofya Kiselgof, 2013. "College admissions with stable score-limits," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1306, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
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Cited by:
  1. Peter Biro & Tamas Fleiner, 2012. "Fractional solutions for capacitated NTU-games, with applications to stable matchings," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1234, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  2. Péter Biró & Flip Klijn, 2013. "Matching With Couples: A Multidisciplinary Survey," International Game Theory Review (IGTR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 15(02), pages 1340008-1-1.

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