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Matching Couples with Scarf's Algorithm

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Biro & Tamas Fleiner & Rob Irving, 2013. "Matching Couples with Scarf's Algorithm," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1330, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:1330
    as

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    File URL: http://econ.core.hu/file/download/mtdp/MTDP1330.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Péter Biró & Sofya Kiselgof, 2015. "College admissions with stable score-limits," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer;Slovak Society for Operations Research;Hungarian Operational Research Society;Czech Society for Operations Research;Österr. Gesellschaft für Operations Research (ÖGOR);Slovenian Society Informatika - Section for Operational Research;Croatian Operational Research Society, vol. 23(4), pages 727-741, December.
    2. Klaus, Bettina & Klijn, Flip, 2005. "Stable matchings and preferences of couples," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 75-106, March.
    3. Bettina Klaus & Flip Klijn & Toshifumi Nakamura, 2005. "Corrigendum: Stable Matchings and Preferences of Couples," Working Papers 261, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    4. 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;Society for Economic Design, vol. 11(3), pages 175-184, November.
    5. Alvin Roth, 2008. "Deferred acceptance algorithms: history, theory, practice, and open questions," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 36(3), pages 537-569, March.
    6. 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 1-18.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Elliott Peranson & Alvin E. Roth, 1999. "The Redesign of the Matching Market for American Physicians: Some Engineering Aspects of Economic Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 748-780, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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 1-18.
    2. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory

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