AAAI Publications, Thirty-First AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Complexity of Manipulating Sequential Allocation
Haris Aziz, Sylvain Bouveret, Jérôme Lang, Simon Mackenzie

Last modified: 2017-02-10


Sequential allocation is a simple allocation mechanism in which agents are given pre-specified turns in which they take one item among those that are still available. It has long been known that sequential allocation is not strategyproof. This raises the question of the complexity of computing a preference report that yields a higher utility than the truthful preference. We show that the problem is NP-complete for one manipulating agent with additive utilities and several non-manipulating agents. In doing so, we correct a wrong claim made in a previous paper. We then give two additional results. First, we present a polynomial-time algorithm for optimal manipulation when the manipulator has additive binary utilities. Second, we consider a stronger notion of manipulation whereby the untruthful outcome yields more utility than the truthful outcome for all utilities consistent with the ordinal preferences; for this notion, we show that a manipulation, if any, can be computed in polynomial time.


social choice; resource allocation; sequential allocation; manipulation; game theory

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