Generalizing Envy-Freeness toward Group of Agents
Taiki Todo, Runcong Li, Xuemei Hu, Takayuki Mouri, Atsushi Iwasaki, Makoto Yokoo
Envy-freeness is a well-known fairness concept for analyzing mechanisms. Its traditional definition requires that no individual envies another individual. However, an individual (or a group of agents) may envy another group, even if she (or they) does not envy another individual. In mechanisms with monetary transfer, such as combinatorial auctions, considering such fairness requirements, which are refinements of traditional envy-freeness, is meaningful and brings up a new interesting research direction in mechanism design. In this paper, we introduce two new concepts of fairness called envy-freeness of an individual toward a group, and envy-freeness of a group toward a group. They are natural extensions of traditional envy-freeness. We discuss combinatorial auction mechanisms that satisfy these concepts. First, we characterize such mechanisms by focusing on their allocation rules. Then we clarify the connections between these concepts and three other properties: the core, strategy-proofness, and false-name-proofness.