Combinatorial Auctions, an Example of Algorithm Theory in Real Life

  • Arne Andersson
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2598)


In this article, we discuss combinatorial auctions, an interesting inter-disciplinary research field in Computer Science and Economics. In particular, we will (a) describe a set of real-world cases, (b) how to solve the associated computational problems, and (c) discuss the impact of the probability distributions chosen for benchmarking.


Combinatorial Auction Binary Search Tree Algorithm Theory Winner Determination Winner Determination Problem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    A. Andersson, Ch. Icking, R. Klein, and Th. Ottmann. Binary search trees of almost optimal height. Acta Informatica, 28:165–178, 1990.zbMATHMathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    A. Andersson, M. Tenhunen, and F. Ygge. Integer programming for combinatorial auction winner determination: Extended version. Technical report, Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University, July 2000. (Available from
  3. 3.
    K. Asrat and A. Andersson. Caching in multi-unit combinatorial auctions. In Proceedings of AAMAS, 2002.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    E. Balas. An additive algorithm for solving linear programs with zero-one variables. The Journal of the Operations Research Society of America, pages 517–546, 1965.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    E. Balas and M. W. Padberg. Set partitioning: A survey. SIAM Review, 18:710–760, 1976.zbMATHMathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Y. Fujishima, K. Leyton-Brown, and Y. Shoham. Taming the computational complexity of combinatorial auctions: Optimal and approximate approaches. In Proceeding of the Sixteenth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IJCAI’99, pages 548–553, August 1999. (Available from
  7. 7.
    R. Garfinkel and G. L. Nemhauser. The set partitioning problem: Set covering with equality constraints. Operations Research, 17(5):848–856, 1969.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    A. M. Geoffrion. An improved implicit enumeration approach for integer programming. Operations Research, 17:437–454, 1969.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    A. Mas-Colell, M. Whinston, and J. R. Green. Microeconomic Theory. Oxford University Press, 1995.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    T. Michaud. Exact implicit enumeration method for solving the set partitioning problem. The IBM Journal of Research and Development, 16:573–578, 1972.zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    N. Nisan. Bidding and allocation in combinatorial auctions. Working paper. Presented at the 1999 NWU Microeconomics Workshop. (Available from noam/), 1999.
  12. 12.
    D. Parkes. iBundle: An efficient ascending price bundle auction. In Proceedings of the First International Conference on Electronic Commerce, pages 148–157. ACM Press, Box 11405, New York, NY, November 1999. (Available from
  13. 13.
    M. H. Rothkopf, A. Pekeč, and R. M. Harstad. Computationally manageable combinatorial auctions. Management Science, 44(8):1131–1147, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    H. M. Salkin. Integer Programming. Addison Wesley Publishing Company, Reading, Massachusetts, 1975.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    T. W. Sandholm. An algorithm for optimal winner determination in combinatorial auctions. In Proceeding of the Sixteenth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IJ-CAI’99, pages 542–547, August 1999. (Available from http://ў
  16. 16.
    P. Wurman. Market Structure and Multidimensional Auction Design for Computational Economies. PhD thesis, Department of Computer Science, University of Michigan, 1999. (Available from http://ў

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arne Andersson
    • 1
  1. 1.Computing Science Department Information TechnologyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

Personalised recommendations