AAAI Publications, Twenty-Ninth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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A Faster Core Constraint Generation Algorithm for Combinatorial Auctions
Benedikt Bünz, Sven Seuken, Benjamin Lubin

Last modified: 2015-02-16


Computing prices in core-selecting combinatorial auctions is a computationally hard problem. Auctions with many bids can only be solved using a recently proposed core constraint generation (CCG) algorithm, which may still take days on hard instances. In this paper, we present a new algorithm that significantly outperforms the current state of the art. Towards this end, we first provide an alternative definition of the set of core constraints, where each constraint is weakly stronger, and prove that together these constraints define the identical polytope to the previous definition. Using these new theoretical insights we develop two new algorithmic techniques which generate additional constraints in each iteration of the CCG algorithm by 1) exploiting separability in allocative conflicts between participants in the auction, and 2) by leveraging non-optimal solutions. We show experimentally that our new algorithm leads to significant speed-ups on a variety of large combinatorial auction problems. Our work provides new insights into the structure of core constraints and advances the state of the art in fast algorithms for computing core prices in large combinatorial auctions.


Combinatorial Auctions; Core; Constraint Generation;

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