On Truthful Mechanisms for Maximin Share Allocations / 31
Georgios Amanatidis, Georgios Birmpas, Evangelos Markakis
We study a fair division problem with indivisible items, namely the computation of maximin share allocations. Given a set of n players, the maximin share of a single player is the best she can guarantee to herself, if she would partition the items in any way she prefers, into n bundles, and then receive her least desirable bundle. The objective then is to find an allocation, so that each player is guaranteed her maximin share. Previous works have studied this problem purely algorithmically, providing constant factor approximation algorithms. In this work, we embark on a mechanism design approach and investigate the existence of truthful mechanisms. We propose three models regarding the information that the mechanism attempts to elicit from the players, based on the cardinal and ordinal representation of preferences. We establish positive and negative (impossibility) results for each model and highlight the limitations imposed by truthfulness on the approximability of the problem. Finally, we pay particular attention to the case of two players, which already leads to challenging questions.