AAAI Publications, Thirty-First AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Mechanism Design for Multi-Type Housing Markets
Sujoy Sikdar, Sibel Adali, Lirong Xia

Last modified: 2017-02-10


We study multi-type housing markets, where there are p ≥ 2 types of items, each agent is initially endowed one item of each type, and the goal is to design mechanisms without monetary transfer to (re)allocate items to the agents based on their preferences over bundles of items, such that each agent gets one item of each type. In sharp contrast to classical housing markets, previous studies in multi-type housing markets have been hindered by the lack of natural solution concepts, because the strict core might be empty. We break the barrier in the literature by leveraging AI techniques and making natural assumptions on agents’ preferences. We show that when agents’ preferences are lexicographic, even with different importance orders, the classical top-trading-cycles mechanism can be extended while preserving most of its nice properties. We also investigate computational complexity of checking whether an allocation is in the strict core and checking whether the strict core is empty. Our results convey an encouragingly positive message: it is possible to design good mechanisms for multi-type housing markets under natural assumptions on preferences.


Multi-type housing markets; Top-trading-cycles; Lexicographic preferences; CP-nets

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