Truthful Mechanisms for Delivery with Agents

Authors Andreas Bärtschi, Daniel Graf, Paolo Penna

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Andreas Bärtschi
Daniel Graf
Paolo Penna

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Andreas Bärtschi, Daniel Graf, and Paolo Penna. Truthful Mechanisms for Delivery with Agents. In 17th Workshop on Algorithmic Approaches for Transportation Modelling, Optimization, and Systems (ATMOS 2017). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 59, pp. 2:1-2:17, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)


We study the game-theoretic task of selecting mobile agents to deliver multiple items on a network. An instance is given by $m$ packages (physical objects) which have to be transported between specified source-target pairs in an undirected graph, and $k$ mobile heterogeneous agents, each being able to transport one package at a time. Following a recent model [Baertschi et al. 2017], each agent i has a different rate of energy consumption per unit distance traveled, i.e., its weight. We are interested in optimizing or approximating the total energy consumption over all selected agents. Unlike previous research, we assume the weights to be private values known only to the respective agents. We present three different mechanisms which select, route and pay the agents in a truthful way that guarantees voluntary participation of the agents, while approximating the optimum energy consumption by a constant factor. To this end, we analyze a previous structural result and an approximation algorithm given in [Baertschi et al. 2017]. Finally, we show that for some instances in the case of a single package, the sum of the payments can be bounded in terms of the optimum.
  • delivery
  • agent
  • energy optimization
  • approximation mechanism
  • frugality


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