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Truthful outcomes from non-truthful position auctions

Dütting, Paul, Fischer, Felix and Parkes, David C. (2016) Truthful outcomes from non-truthful position auctions. In: Conitzer, Vincent, Bergemann, Dirk and Yiling, Chen, (eds.) Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on Economics and Computation. Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, p. 813. ISBN 9781450339360

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Identification Number: 10.1145/2940716.2940731


We exhibit a property of the VCG mechanism that can help explain the surprising rarity with which it is used even in settings with unit demand: a relative lack of robustness to inaccuracies in the choice of its parameters. For a standard position auction environment in which the auctioneer may not know the precise relative values of the positions, we show that under both complete and incomplete information a non-truthful mechanism supports the truthful outcome of the VCG mechanism for a wider range of these values than the VCG mechanism itself. The result for complete information concerns the generalized second-price mechanism and lends additional theoretical support to the use of this mechanism in practice. Particularly interesting from a technical perspective is the case of incomplete information, where a surprising combinatorial equivalence helps us to avoid confrontation with an unwieldy differential equation.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors
Divisions: Mathematics
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2017 10:33
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 05:45

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