TY - JOUR

T1 - Optimal auctions vs. anonymous pricing

T2 - Beyond linear utility

AU - Feng, Yiding

AU - Hartline, Jason D.

AU - Li, Yingkai

N1 - Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019, The Authors. All rights reserved.
Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

PY - 2019/5/10

Y1 - 2019/5/10

N2 - The revenue optimal mechanism for selling a single item to agents with independent but non-identically distributed values is complex for agents with linear utility (Myerson, 1981) and has no closed-form characterization for agents with non-linear utility (cf. Alaei et al., 2012). Nonetheless, for linear utility agents satisfying a natural regularity property, Alaei et al. (2018) showed that simply posting an anonymous price is an e-approximation. We give a parameterization of the regularity property that extends to agents with non-linear utility and show that the approximation bound of anonymous pricing for regular agents approximately extends to agents that satisfy this approximate regularity property. We apply this approximation framework to prove that anonymous pricing is a constant approximation to the revenue optimal single-item auction for agents with public-budget utility, private-budget utility, and (a special case of) risk-averse utility.

AB - The revenue optimal mechanism for selling a single item to agents with independent but non-identically distributed values is complex for agents with linear utility (Myerson, 1981) and has no closed-form characterization for agents with non-linear utility (cf. Alaei et al., 2012). Nonetheless, for linear utility agents satisfying a natural regularity property, Alaei et al. (2018) showed that simply posting an anonymous price is an e-approximation. We give a parameterization of the regularity property that extends to agents with non-linear utility and show that the approximation bound of anonymous pricing for regular agents approximately extends to agents that satisfy this approximate regularity property. We apply this approximation framework to prove that anonymous pricing is a constant approximation to the revenue optimal single-item auction for agents with public-budget utility, private-budget utility, and (a special case of) risk-averse utility.

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M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85093799773

JO - Free Radical Biology and Medicine

JF - Free Radical Biology and Medicine

SN - 0891-5849

ER -