Keeping Your Friends Close: Land Allocation with Friends

IJCAI 2020, pp. 318-324, 2020.

Cited by: 0|Bibtex|Views48|DOI:https://doi.org/10.24963/ijcai.2020/45
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We examine the problem of assigning plots of land to prospective buyers who prefer living next to their friends

Abstract:

We examine the problem of assigning plots of land to prospective buyers who prefer living next to their friends. They care not only about the plot they receive, but also about their neighbors. This externality results in a highly non-trivial problem structure, as both friendship and land value play a role in determining agent behavior. ...More

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Introduction
  • Predetermined plots of land, of approximately equal size and price, have been drawn and must be assigned to prospective buyers1.
  • While similar in size and official value, plots are not viewed as identical by the buyers: some buyers prefer living close to the village center, others favor living in an area with a view of the surrounding mountains, and yet others are interested in level plots amenable to a home garden.
  • Buyers have preferences not just over plots, and over their potential neighbors.
  • The authors are interested in mechanisms that would enable the buyers
Highlights
  • A village in a quaint part of country X recently received a permission to expand
  • We investigate our problem from the perspective of mechanism design without money: can we incentivize agents to truthfully report their plot values and friendship information? Given our application domain, we are interested in mechanisms that are simple to describe and participate in, while providing good social welfare guarantees
  • While the problem in its full generality offers several non-trivial computational challenges, we show that under some realistic assumptions on buyer preferences and permitted reports, it is possible to design simple mechanisms that maintain both truthful reporting and social welfare guarantees
  • We obtain positive results if all agents value their friendships highly, and even stronger positive results are known in the absence of friendships
  • The presence of low-valued friendships may result in significant welfare loss, as shown by Proposition 5.5
  • We focused on Random Serial Dictatorship-like mechanisms for our problem; it may be useful to consider other approaches
Conclusion
  • CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE WORK

    The authors have analyzed the problem of allocating plots of land to buyers who have intrinsic preferences over their neighbors.
  • The presence of low-valued friendships may result in significant welfare loss, as shown by Proposition 5.5.
  • To see why this may be the case, note that even low-value friendships may distort agents’ behavior under RSD, thereby changing the allocation significantly.
  • E.g., the authors can explore market-like mechanisms, where agents are allocated identical budgets and need to bid on plots and possibly on friendships, in the spirit of Budish [6]
Summary
  • Introduction:

    Predetermined plots of land, of approximately equal size and price, have been drawn and must be assigned to prospective buyers1.
  • While similar in size and official value, plots are not viewed as identical by the buyers: some buyers prefer living close to the village center, others favor living in an area with a view of the surrounding mountains, and yet others are interested in level plots amenable to a home garden.
  • Buyers have preferences not just over plots, and over their potential neighbors.
  • The authors are interested in mechanisms that would enable the buyers
  • Conclusion:

    CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE WORK

    The authors have analyzed the problem of allocating plots of land to buyers who have intrinsic preferences over their neighbors.
  • The presence of low-valued friendships may result in significant welfare loss, as shown by Proposition 5.5.
  • To see why this may be the case, note that even low-value friendships may distort agents’ behavior under RSD, thereby changing the allocation significantly.
  • E.g., the authors can explore market-like mechanisms, where agents are allocated identical budgets and need to bid on plots and possibly on friendships, in the spirit of Budish [6]
Related work
  • One-sided matching markets have been studied for several decades.

    Hylland and Zeckhauser [11] propose a Pareto optimal, envy-free mechanism, which is, however, not truthful. Svensson [15] shows that the Random Serial Dictatorship (RSD) is the only truthful mechanism that satisfies ex-post Pareto optimality, anonymity and non-bossiness.

    The social welfare of truthful mechanisms in one-sided matching markets has been studied by Bhalgat et al [3] for rank-based valuation functions. Filos-Ratsikas et al [8] consider the social welfar√e of RSD for unit sum preferences, and show that RSD offers a n-approximation to the optimal social welfare in this case.

    Adamczyk et al [2] focus on binary and unit-range preferences, and show that RSD offers a 3-approxim√ation to the optimal social welfare for binary preferences, and a en-approximation for unit range preferences. Christodoulou et al [7] analyze the Price of
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