13 October 2006, Computational Social Choice Seminar, Ulle Endriss
A combinatorial auction is an auction where bidders can buy (or sell) entire bundles of goods in a single transaction. This has the great advantage of eliminating the risk for bidders of not being able to obtain complementary items at a reasonable price after having committed to buying some of the goods they are interested in, but it also introduces serious computational challenges. In recent years, the study of combinatorial auctions has become one of the central themes of research at the interface of computer science and economics.
In this talk, I shall introduce a new type of combinatorial auction that allows agents to bid for goods to buy, for goods to sell, and for transformations of goods. One such transformation can be seen as a step in a production process, so solving the auction requires choosing the sequence in which the accepted bids should be implemented. I shall introduce a bidding language for this type of auction, discuss its expressive power, and analyse the corresponding winner determination problem. The talk will include a brief introduction to combinatorial auctions and no prerequisite knowledge of the topic is required to follow the presentation.
This is joint work with Jesús Cerquides, Andrea Giovannucci, and Juan Antonio Rodríguez-Aguilar.