Better Ways to Cut a Cake - Revisited

Authors Steven J. Brams, Michael A. Jones, Christian Klamler

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Steven J. Brams
Michael A. Jones
Christian Klamler

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Steven J. Brams, Michael A. Jones, and Christian Klamler. Better Ways to Cut a Cake - Revisited. In Fair Division. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 7261, pp. 1-24, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2007)


Procedures to divide a cake among n people with n-1 cuts (the minimum number) are analyzed and compared. For 2 persons, cut-and-choose, while envy-free and efficient, limits the cutter to exactly 50% if he or she is ignorant of the chooser's preferences, whereas the chooser can generally obtain more. By comparison, a new 2-person surplus procedure (SP'), which induces the players to be truthful in order to maximize their minimum allocations, leads to a proportionally equitable division of the surplus - the part that remains after each player receives 50% - by giving each person a certain proportion of the surplus as he or she values it. For n geq 3 persons, a new equitable procedure (EP) yields a maximally equitable division of a cake. This division gives all players the highest common value that they can achieve and induces truthfulness, but it may not be envy-free. The applicability of SP' and EP to the fair division of a heterogeneous, divisible good, like land, is briefly discussed.
  • Fair division
  • cake-cutting
  • envy-freeness
  • strategy-proofness


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