Truthful mechanism design for multidimensional scheduling via cycle monotonicity
We consider the makespan-minimization problem on unrelated machines in the context of algorithmic mechanism design. No truthful mechanisms with non-trivial approximation guarantees are known for this multidimensional domain. We study a well-motivated special case (also a multidimensional domain), where the processing time of a job on each machine is either "low" or "high." We give a general technique to convert any c-approximation algorithm (in a black-box fashion) to a 3c-approximation truthful-in-expectation mechanism. Our construction uses fractional truthful mechanisms as a building block, and builds upon a technique of Lavi and Swamy [Lavi, R., Swamy, C., 2005. Truthful and near-optimal mechanism design via linear programming. In: Proc. 46th FOCS, pp. 595-604]. When all jobs have identical low and high values, we devise a deterministic 2-approximation truthful mechanism. The chief novelty of our results is that we do not utilize explicit price definitions to prove truthfulness. Instead we design algorithms that satisfy cycle monotonicity [Rochet, J., 1987. A necessary and sufficient condition for rationalizability in a quasilinear context. J. Math. Econ. 16, 191-200], a necessary and sufficient condition for truthfulness in multidimensional settings; this is the first work that leverages this characterization.
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