Seminars & Colloquia Calendar
Approximation Schemes for a Unit-Demand Buyer with Independent Items via Symmetries
Ariel Schvartzman (Princeton):
Location: Core 301
Date & time: Wednesday, 19 February 2020 at 11:00AM - 12:00PM
Abstract: We consider a revenue-maximizing seller with n items facing a single buyer. We introduce the notion of symmetric menu complexity of a mechanism, which counts the number of distinct options the buyer may purchase, up to permutations of the items. Our main result is that a mechanism of quasi-polynomial symmetric menu complexity suffices to guarantee a .99-approximation when the buyer is unit-demand over independent items, even when the value distribution is unbounded, and that this mechanism can be found in quasi-polynomial time.
Our key technical result is a polynomial-time, (symmetric) menu-complexity-preserving black-box reduction from achieving a .99-approximation for unbounded valuations that are subadditive over independent items to achieving a .99-approximation when the values are bounded (and still subadditive over independent items). We further apply this reduction to deduce approximation schemes for a suite of valuation classes beyond our main result.
Finally, we show that selling separately (which has exponential menu complexity) can be approximated up to a .99 factor with a menu of efficient-linear symmetric menu complexity.
Joint work with Pravesh Kothari (CMU), Divyarthi Mohan, Sahil Singla and S. Matthew Weinberg (Princeton).