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Marriage Matching: A Conjecture of Donald Knuth

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  • Vicki Knoblauch

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

Variations of the Gale-Shapley algorithm have been used and studied extensively in real world markets. Examples include matching medical residents with residency programs, the kidney exchange program and matching college students with on-campus housing. The performance of the Gale-Shapley marriage matching algorithm (1962) has been studied extensively in the special case of men's and women's preferences random. We drop the assumption that women's preferences are random and show that En /n ln n -> 1, where En is the expected number of proposals made when the men-propose Gale-Shapley algorithm is used to match n men with n women. This establishes in spirit a conjecture of Donald Knuth (1976, 1997) of thirty years standing. Under the same assumptions, we also establish bounds on the expected ranking by a woman of her assigned mate. Bounds on men's rankings of their assigned mates follow directly from the conjecture.

Suggested Citation

  • Vicki Knoblauch, 2007. "Marriage Matching: A Conjecture of Donald Knuth," Working papers 2007-15, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2007-15
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sönmez & M. Utku Ünver, 2004. "Kidney Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 457-488.
    2. Yan Chen & Tayfun Sönmez, 2002. "Improving Efficiency of On-Campus Housing: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1669-1686, December.
    3. Gabrielle Demange & David Gale & Marilda Sotomayor, 1987. "A Further Note on the Stable Matching Problem," Post-Print halshs-00670980, HAL.
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    Cited by:

    1. Onur B. Celik & Vicki Knoblauch, 2007. "Marriage Matching with Correlated Preferences," Working papers 2007-16, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Two-Sided Matching; Gale-Shapley algorithm;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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