Please note: This PhD seminar will be given online.
Vijay Menon, PhD candidate
David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science
We propose a notion of algorithmic stability for scenarios where cardinal preferences are elicited. Informally, our definition captures the idea that an agent should not experience a large change in their utility as long as they make “small” or “innocuous” mistakes while reporting their preferences. We study this notion in the context of fair and efficient allocations of indivisible goods among two agents, and show that it is impossible to achieve exact stability along with even a weak notion of fairness and even approximate efficiency.
As a result, we propose two relaxations to stability, namely, approximate-stability and weak-approximate-stability, and show how existing algorithms in the fair division literature that guarantee fair and efficient outcomes perform poorly with respect to these relaxations. This leads us to the explore the possibility of designing new algorithms that are more stable. Towards this end we present a general characterization result for pairwise maximin share allocations, and in turn use it to design an algorithm that is approximately-stable and guarantees a pairwise maximin share and Pareto optimal allocation for two agents. Finally, we present a simple framework that can be used to modify existing fair and efficient algorithms in order to ensure that they also achieve weak-approximate-stability.
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