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On the Computational Power of Iterative Auctions II: Ascending Auctions

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  • Liad Blumrosen

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  • Noam Nisan

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Abstract

We embark on a systematic analysis of the power and limitations of iterative ascending-price combinatorial auctions. We prove a large number of results showing the boundaries of what can be achieved by different types of ascending auctions: item prices vs. bundle prices, anonymous prices vs. personalized prices, deterministic vs. non-deterministic, ascending vs. descending, preference elicitation vs. full elicitation, adaptive vs. non-adaptive, and single trajectory vs. multi trajectory. Two of our main results show that neither ascending item-price auctions nor ascending anonymous bundle-price auctions can determine the optimal allocation among general valuations. This justifies the use of personalized bundle prices in iterative combinatorial auctions like the FCC spectrum auctions.

Suggested Citation

  • Liad Blumrosen & Noam Nisan, 2005. "On the Computational Power of Iterative Auctions II: Ascending Auctions," Discussion Paper Series dp382, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  • Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp382
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Babaioff, Moshe & Feldman, Michal & Nisan, Noam & Winter, Eyal, 2012. "Combinatorial agency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 999-1034.
    2. Ausubel Lawrence M & Milgrom Paul R, 2002. "Ascending Auctions with Package Bidding," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-44, August.
    3. Gul, Faruk & Stacchetti, Ennio, 2000. "The English Auction with Differentiated Commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 66-95, May.
    4. Gul, Faruk & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1999. "Walrasian Equilibrium with Gross Substitutes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 95-124, July.
    5. Lehmann, Benny & Lehmann, Daniel & Nisan, Noam, 2006. "Combinatorial auctions with decreasing marginal utilities," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 270-296, May.
    6. Mishra, Debasis & Parkes, David C., 2007. "Ascending price Vickrey auctions for general valuations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 335-366, January.
    7. Liad Blumrosen & Noam Nisan, 2005. "On the Computational Power of Iterative Auctions I: Demand Queries," Discussion Paper Series dp381, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    8. Demange, Gabrielle & Gale, David & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1986. "Multi-Item Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 863-872, August.
    9. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1996. "Why Are Certain Properties of Binary Relations Relatively More Common in Natural Language?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 343-355, March.
    10. Nisan, Noam & Segal, Ilya, 2006. "The communication requirements of efficient allocations and supporting prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 192-224, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Liad Blumrosen & Noam Nisan, 2005. "On the Computational Power of Iterative Auctions I: Demand Queries," Discussion Paper Series dp381, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    2. Kagel, John H. & Lien, Yuanchuan & Milgrom, Paul, 2014. "Ascending prices and package bidding: Further experimental analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 210-231.
    3. Schneider, S. & Shabalin, P. & Bichler, M., 2010. "On the robustness of non-linear personalized price combinatorial auctions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 206(1), pages 248-259, October.
    4. repec:eee:gamebe:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:456-467 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Mu'alem, Ahuva & Nisan, Noam, 2008. "Truthful approximation mechanisms for restricted combinatorial auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 612-631, November.

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