Combinatorial Auctions

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The study of combinatorial auctions — auctions in which bidders can bid on combinations of items or "packages" — draws on the disciplines of economics,operations research, and computer science. This landmark collection integrates these three perspectives, offering a state-of-the art survey of developments in combinatorial auction theory and practice by leaders in the field.Combinatorial auctions (CAs), by allowing bidders to express their preferences more fully, can lead to improved economic efficiency and greater auction revenues. However,challenges arise in both design and implementation. Combinatorial Auctions addresses each of these challenges. After describing and analyzing various CA mechanisms, the book addresses bidding languages and questions of efficiency. Possible strategies for solving the computationally intractable problem of how to compute the objective-maximizing allocation (known as the winner determination problem) are considered, as are questions of how to test alternative algorithms. The book discusses five important applications of CAs: spectrum auctions, airport takeoff and landing slots, procurement of freight transportation services, the London bus routes market, and industrial procurement. This unique collection makes recent work in CAs available to a broad audience of researchers and practitioners. The integration of work from the three disciplines underlying CAs, using a common language throughout,serves to advance the field in theory and practice.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is indispensable for all researchers and practitioners that want to get introduced to the world of combinatorial auctions." Operations Research Letters
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262033428
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 672
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Cramton is Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland.

Yoav Shoham is Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University.

Richard Steinberg is Chair in Operations Research, London School of Economics.

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Table of Contents

Introduction to combinatorial auctions 1
1 The lovely but lonely Vickrey auction 17
2 Iterative combinatorial auctions 41
3 Ascending proxy auctions 79
4 Simultaneous ascending auctions 99
5 The clock-proxy auction : a practical combinatorial auction design 115
6 PAUSE : a computationally tractable combinatorial auction 139
7 Pseudonymous bidding in combinatorial auctions 161
8 From the assignment model to combinatorial auctions 189
9 Bidding languages for combinatorial auctions 215
10 Preference elicitation in combinatorial auctions 233
11 The communication requirements of combinatorial allocation problems 265
12 The winner determination problem 297
13 Tractable cases of the winner determination problem 319
14 Optimal winner determination algorithms 337
15 Incentive compatibility in computationally feasible combinatorial auctions 369
16 Noncomputational approaches to mitigating computational problems in combinatorial auctions 395
17 Observations and near-direct implementations of the ascending proxy auction 415
18 A test suite for combinatorial auctions 451
19 Empirical hardness models for combinatorial auctions 479
20 Auctions for the safe, efficient, and equitable allocation of airspace system resources 507
21 Combinatorial auctions for truckload transportation 539
22 Auctioning bus routes : the London experience 573
23 Industrial procurement auctions 593
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