TY - GEN

T1 - On the hardness of being truthful

AU - Papadimitriou, Christos

AU - Schapira, Michael

AU - Singer, Yaron

PY - 2008

Y1 - 2008

N2 - The central problem in computational mechanism design is the tension between incentive compatibility and computational efficiency. We establish the first significant approximability gap between algorithms that are both truthful and computationally-efficient, and algorithms that only achieve one of these two desiderata. This is shown in the context of a novel mechanism design problem which we call the COMBINATORIAL PUBLIC PROJECT PROBLEM (CPPP). CPPP is an abstraction of many common mechanism design situations, ranging from elections of kibbutz committees to network design. Our result is actually made up of two complementary results - one in the communication-complexity model and one in the computational-complexity model. Both these hardness results heavily rely on a combinatorial characterization of truthful algorithms for our problem. Our computational-complexity result is one of the first impossibility results connecting mechanism design to complexity theory; its novel proof technique involves an application of the Sauer-Shelah Lemma and may be of wider applicability, both within and without mechanism design.

AB - The central problem in computational mechanism design is the tension between incentive compatibility and computational efficiency. We establish the first significant approximability gap between algorithms that are both truthful and computationally-efficient, and algorithms that only achieve one of these two desiderata. This is shown in the context of a novel mechanism design problem which we call the COMBINATORIAL PUBLIC PROJECT PROBLEM (CPPP). CPPP is an abstraction of many common mechanism design situations, ranging from elections of kibbutz committees to network design. Our result is actually made up of two complementary results - one in the communication-complexity model and one in the computational-complexity model. Both these hardness results heavily rely on a combinatorial characterization of truthful algorithms for our problem. Our computational-complexity result is one of the first impossibility results connecting mechanism design to complexity theory; its novel proof technique involves an application of the Sauer-Shelah Lemma and may be of wider applicability, both within and without mechanism design.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=57949083485&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1109/FOCS.2008.54

DO - 10.1109/FOCS.2008.54

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AN - SCOPUS:57949083485

SN - 9780769534367

T3 - Proceedings - Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, FOCS

SP - 250

EP - 259

BT - Proceedings of the 49th Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, FOCS 2008

T2 - 49th Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, FOCS 2008

Y2 - 25 October 2008 through 28 October 2008

ER -