Robust Combinatorial Auction Protocol against False-name Bids
Makoto Yokoo, Yuko Sakurai, and Shigeo Matsubara
17th National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-2000),2000.


This paper presents a new combinatorial auction protocol (LDS protocol) that is robust against false-name bids. Internet auctions have become an integral part of Electronic Commerce (EC) and a promising field for applying agent and Artificial Intelligence technologies. Although the Internet provides an excellent infrastructure for combinatorial auctions, we must consider the possibility of a new type of cheating, i.e., an agent tries to profit from submitting several bids under fictitious names (false-name bids). If there exists no false-name bid, the generalized Vickrey auction (GVA) satisfies individual rationality, Pareto efficiency, and incentive compatibility. On the other hand, when false-name bids are possible, it is theoretically impossible for a combinatorial auction protocol to simultaneously satisfy these three properties.

The Leveled Division Set (LDS) protocol, which is a modification of the GVA, utilizes reservation prices of auctioned goods for making decisions on whether to sell goods in a bundle or separately. The LDS protocol satisfies individual rationality and incentive compatibility, although it is not guaranteed to achieve a Pareto efficient social surplus. Simulation results show that the LDS protocol can achieve a better social surplus than that for a protocol that always sells goods in a bundle.