Fair-Share Allocations for Agents with Arbitrary Entitlements

by   Moshe Babaioff, et al.

We consider the problem of fair allocation of indivisible goods to n agents, with no transfers. When agents have equal entitlements, the well established notion of the maximin share (MMS) serves as an attractive fairness criterion, where to qualify as fair, an allocation needs to give every agent at least a substantial fraction of her MMS. In this paper we consider the case of arbitrary (unequal) entitlements. We explain shortcomings in previous attempts that extend the MMS to unequal entitlements. Our conceptual contribution is the introduction of a new notion of a share, the AnyPrice share (APS), that is appropriate for settings with arbitrary entitlements. Even for the equal entitlements case, this notion is new, and satisfies APS ≥ MMS, where the inequality is sometimes strict. We present two equivalent definitions for the APS (one as a minimization problem, the other as a maximization problem), and provide comparisons between the APS and previous notions of fairness. Our main result concerns additive valuations and arbitrary entitlements, for which we provide a polynomial-time algorithm that gives every agent at least a 3/5-fraction of her APS. This algorithm can also be viewed as providing strategies in a certain natural bidding game, and these strategies secure each agent at least a 3/5-fraction of her APS.


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