Cake Division with Minimal Cuts: Envy-Free Procedures for 3 Person, 4 Persons, and Beyond
The minimal number of parallel cuts required to divide a cake into n pieces is n-1. A new 3-person procedure, requiring 2 parallel cuts, is given that produces an envy- free division, whereby each person thinks he or she receives at least a tied- for- largest piece. An extension of this procedure leads to a 4-person division, us ing 3 parallel cuts, that makes at most one player envious. Finally, a 4-person envy-free procedure is given, but it requires up to 5 parallel cuts, and some pieces may be disconnected. All these procedures improve on extant procedures by using fewer moving knives, making fewer people envious, or using fewer cuts. While the 4-person, 5-cut procedure is complex, endowing people with more information about others' preferences, or allowing them to do things beyond stopping moving knives, may yield simpler procedures for making envy- free divisions with minimal cuts, which are known always to exist
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- Brams, S.J. & Kilgour, D.M., 1999.
"Competitive Fair Division,"
99-05, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Elisha Peterson & Francis Su, 2000. "Four-Person Envy-Free Chore Division," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2000-48, Claremont Colleges.
- Francis Su, . "Rental Harmony: Sperner's Lemma in Fair Division," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 1999-10, Claremont Colleges.
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