Algorithmic Mechanism Design: Through the lens of Multiunit auctions

Noam Nisan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Mechanism design is a subfield of game theory that aims to design games whose equilibria have desired properties such as achieving high efficiency or high revenue. Algorithmic mechanism design is a subfield that lies on the border of mechanism design and computer science and deals with mechanism design in algorithmically complex scenarios that are often found in computational settings such as the Internet.The central challenge in algorithmic mechanism design is the tension between the computational constraints and the game-theoretic ones. This survey demonstrates both the tension and ways of addressing it by focusing on a single simple problem: multiunit auctions. A variety of issues will be discussed: representation, computational hardness, communication, convexity, approximations, Vickrey-Clarke-Groves (VCG) mechanisms and their generalizations, single-parameter settings vs. multiparameter settings, and the power of randomness.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationHandbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages39
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameHandbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications
ISSN (Print)1574-0005

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.


  • Algorithms
  • Approximation
  • Auctions
  • Bidding languages
  • Communication complexity
  • Mechanism design
  • Truthfulness


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