Bayesian combinatorial auctions

George Christodoulou*, Annamária Kovács, Michael Schapira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

96 Scopus citations


We study the following Bayesian setting: m items are sold to n selfish bidders in m independent second-price auctions. Each bidder has a private valuation function that expresses complex preferences over all subsets of items. Bidders only have beliefs about the valuation functions of the other bidders, in the form of probability distributions. The objective is to allocate the items to the bidders in a way that provides a good approximation to the optimal social welfare value. We show that if bidders have submodular valuation functions, then every Bayesian Nash equilibrium of the resulting game provides a 2-approximation to the optimal social welfare. Moreover, we show that in the full-information game a pure Nash always exists and can be found in time that is polynomial in both m and n.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationAutomata, Languages and Programming - 35th International Colloquium, ICALP 2008, Proceedings
Number of pages13
EditionPART 1
StatePublished - 2008
Event35th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming, ICALP 2008 - Reykjavik, Iceland
Duration: 7 Jul 200811 Jul 2008

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
NumberPART 1
Volume5125 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference35th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming, ICALP 2008


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