EASSS-2009 Course on Fair Division
Fair division is the problem of dividing one or several goods amongst two or more agents in a manner that satisfies a suitable fairness criterion.
This course will give an introduction to the field, focusing on formal and computational aspects that are relevant to research in multiagent systems.
The course will cover three main topics:
- What makes a good allocation of goods to agents?
A number of different criteria have been proposed in the literature, which
can roughly be divided into fairness and efficiency criteria.
We will give an overview of these, covering concepts such as
collective utility functions, social welfare orderings, and
envy-freeness. We will also briefly discuss the axiomatic
foundations of social welfare orderings.
- In terms of algorithms we will first address the case of divisible goods.
The classical example from the fair division literature is the
problem of dividing a cake (a single divisible good) amongst
several players. We will review several
cake-cutting procedures and analyse their properties.
- Finally, we will discuss the allocation of indivisible goods.
Recent work on resource allocation problems in multiagent systems
has mostly concentrated on this kind of scenario,
which gives rise to a combinatorial optimisation problem.
Amongst other things we will discuss distributed approaches based
on negotiation for finding fair and efficient allocations.
A similar course has previously been delivered at AAMAS-2008 in Estoril.