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Efficiency and Equilibrium in Task Allocation Economics with Hierarchical Dependencies

  • William E. Walsh
  • Michael P. Wellman

We analyze economic efficiency and equilibrium properties in decentralized task allocation problems involving hierarchical dependencies and resource contention. We bound the inefficiency of a type of approximate equilibrium in proportion to the number of agents and the bidding parameters in a particular market protocol. This protocol converges to an approximate equilibrium with respect to all agents, except those which may acquire unneeded inputs. We introduce a decommitment phase to allow such agents to decommit from their input contracts. Experiments indicate that the augmented market protocol produces highly efficient allocations on average.

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Paper provided by Santa Fe Institute in its series Working Papers with number 99-07-049.

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Date of creation: Jul 1999
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Handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:99-07-049
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1399 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Web page: http://www.santafe.edu/sfi/publications/working-papers.html

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  1. Demange, Gabrielle & Gale, David & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1986. "Multi-Item Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 863-72, August.
  2. S.J. Rassenti & V.L. Smith & R.L. Bulfin, 1982. "A Combinatorial Auction Mechanism for Airport Time Slot Allocation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 402-417, Autumn.
  3. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1996. "Analyzing the Airwaves Auction," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 159-175, Winter.
  4. John Q. Cheng & Michael P. Wellman, 1995. "The WALRAS Algorithm: A Convergent Distributed Implementation of General Equilibrium Outcomes," Computational Economics 9508001, EconWPA.
  5. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
  6. Michael H. Rothkopf & Aleksandar Peke\v{c} & Ronald M. Harstad, 1998. "Computationally Manageable Combinational Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(8), pages 1131-1147, August.
  7. Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Auction Theory," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 779, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. Peter R. Wurman & Michael P. Wellman, 1999. "Equilibrium Prices in Bundle Auctions," Working Papers 99-09-064, Santa Fe Institute.
  9. Satterthwaite, Mark A. & Williams, Steven R., 1989. "Bilateral trade with the sealed bid k-double auction: Existence and efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 107-133, June.
  10. Gul, F. & Stacchetti, E., 1997. "Walrasian Equilibrium Without Complementarities," Papers 97-03, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  11. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Mamer, John W., 1997. "Competitive Equilibrium in an Exchange Economy with Indivisibilities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 385-413, June.
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