Approximately Maximizing the Broker's Profit in a Two-sided Market

Jing Chen, Bo Li, Yingkai Li

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


We study how to maximize the broker's (expected) profit in a two-sided market, where she buys items from a set of sellers and resells them to a set of buyers. Each seller has a single item to sell and holds a private value on her item, and each buyer has a valuation function over the bundles of the sellers' items. We consider the Bayesian setting where the agents' values are independently drawn from prior distributions, and aim at designing dominant-strategy incentive-compatible (DSIC) mechanisms that are approximately optimal.
Production-cost markets, where each item has a publicly-known cost to be produced, provide a platform for us to study two-sided markets. Briefly, we show how to covert a mechanism for production-cost markets into a mechanism for the broker, whenever the former satisfies cost-monotonicity. This reduction holds even when buyers have general combinatorial valuation functions. When the buyers' valuations are additive, we generalize an existing mechanism to production-cost markets in an approximation-preserving way. We then show that the resulting mechanism is cost-monotone and thus can be converted into an 8-approximation mechanism for two-sided markets.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIJCAI
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

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