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An Overview of Combinatorial Auctions

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Abstract

An auction is combinatorial when bidders can place bids on combinations of items, called “packages,” rather than just individual items. Computer scientists are interested in combinatorial auctions because they are concerned with the expressiveness of bidding languages, as well as the algorithmic aspects of the underlying combinatorial problem. The combinatorial problem has attracted attention from operations researchers, especially those working in combinatorial optimization and mathematical programming, who are fascinated by the idea of applying these tools to auctions. Auctions have been studied extensively by economists, of course. Thus, the newly emerging field of combinatorial auctions lies at the intersection of computer science, operations research, and economics. In this article, we present a brief introduction to combinatorial auctions, based on our book, Combinatorial Auctions (MIT Press, 2006), in which we look at combinatorial auctions from all three perspectives.

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File URL: http://www.cramton.umd.edu/papers2005-2009/cramton-shoham-steinberg-overview-of-combinatorial-auctions.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton in its series Papers of Peter Cramton with number 07oca.

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Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision: 2007
Publication status: Published in ACM SIGecom Exchanges, 7, 3-14, 2007
Handle: RePEc:pcc:pccumd:07oca

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Postal: Economics Department, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-7211
Phone: (202) 318-0520
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Web page: http://www.cramton.umd.edu

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Keywords: Auctions;

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References

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  1. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton, 2004. "Auctioning Many Divisible Goods," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 480-493, 04/05.
  2. Paul Klemperer, 2004. "Auctions: Theory and Practice," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number auction1, Spring.
  3. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
  4. Michael H. Rothkopf, 1969. "A Model of Rational Competitive Bidding," Management Science, INFORMS, INFORMS, vol. 15(7), pages 362-373, March.
  5. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  6. Roger B. Myerson, 1977. "Incentive Compatability and the Bargaining Problem," Discussion Papers, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science 284, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. S.J. Rassenti & V.L. Smith & R.L. Bulfin, 1982. "A Combinatorial Auction Mechanism for Airport Time Slot Allocation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 402-417, Autumn.
  8. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
  9. Peter Cramton, 2002. "Spectrum Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton 01hte, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 16 Jul 2001.
  10. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Paul Milgrom, 2002. "Ascending Auctions with Package Bidding," Working Papers, Stanford University, Department of Economics 02004, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  11. Robert B. Wilson, 1967. "Competitive Bidding with Asymmetric Information," Management Science, INFORMS, INFORMS, vol. 13(11), pages 816-820, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Susan Athey & Glenn Ellison, 2011. "Position Auctions with Consumer Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1213-1270.

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