28 March 2007, Computational Social Choice Seminar, Steven J. Brams
Properties of discrete cake-cutting procedures that use a minimal number of cuts (n-1 if there are n players) are analyzed. None is always envy-free or efficient, but divide-and-conquer (D&C) minimizes the maximum number of players that any single player may envy. It works by asking n≥2 players successively to place marks on a cake that divide it into equal or approximately equal halves, then halves of these halves, and so on. Among other properties, D&C (i) ensures players of more than 1/n shares if their marks are different and (ii) is strategyproof for risk-averse players. However, D&C may not allow players to obtain proportional, connected pieces if they have unequal entitlements. Possible applications of D&C to land division are briefly discussed.
This is joint work with Michael A. Jones, and Christian Klamler.