Object Reachability via Swaps along a Line
The HOUSING MARKET problem is a widely studied resources allocation problem. In this problem, each agent can only receive a single object and has preferences over all objects. Starting from an initial endowment, we want to reach a certain assignment via a sequence of rational trades. We consider the problem whether an object is reachable for a given agent under a social network, where a trade between two agents is allowed if they are neighbors in the network and no participant has a deficit from the trade. Assume that the preferences of the agents are strict (no tie is allowed). This problem is polynomially solvable in a star-network and NPcomplete in a tree-network. It is left as a challenging open problem whether the problem is polynomially solvable when the network is a path. We answer this open problem positively by giving a polynomial-time algorithm. Furthermore, we show that the problem on a path will become NP-hard when the preferences of the agents are weak (ties are allowed).