Investigating the characteristics of one-sided matching mechanisms under various preferences and risk attitudes

Hadi Hosseini, Kate Larson, Robin Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


One-sided matching mechanisms are fundamental for assigning a set of indivisible objects to a set of self-interested agents when monetary transfers are not allowed. Two widely-studied randomized mechanisms in multiagent settings are the Random Serial Dictatorship (RSD) and the Probabilistic Serial Rule (PS). Both mechanisms require only that agents specify ordinal preferences and have a number of desirable economic and computational properties. However, the induced outcomes of the mechanisms are often incomparable and thus there are challenges when it comes to deciding which mechanism to adopt in practice. In this paper, we first consider the space of general ordinal preferences and provide empirical results on the (in)comparability of RSD and PS. We analyze their respective economic properties under general and lexicographic preferences. We then instantiate utility functions with the goal of gaining insights on the manipulability, efficiency, and envyfreeness of the mechanisms under different risk-attitude models. Our results hold under various preference distribution models, which further confirm the broad use of RSD in most practical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)534-567
Number of pages34
JournalAutonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence


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