Design Of Innovative Mechanisms For Contemporary Game Theoretic Problems In Electronic Commerce
Game theory and mechanism design have emerged as an important tool to model, analyze,and solve decentralized design problems involving multiple agents that interact strategically in a rational and intelligent way. Some examples of these design problems include: auctions and markets in electronic commerce; network economics; dynamic pricing; routing protocols in wireless networks; resource allocation in computational grids; algorithms for selfish agents;etc. The motivation for this doctoral work springs from the high level of current interest indesigning innovative mechanisms for solving emerging game theoretic problems in the area of electronic commerce. In this thesis, we focus on three such problems and advance the current art in mechanism design while developing new, innovative mechanisms to solve the problems. The first problem we explore is the highly strategic problem of forming a high value E-business supply chain by choosing the best mix of supply chain partners. In our research, we formulate the supply chain formation problem as a mechanism design problem in a generic wayand show that the well known VCG (Vickrey-Clarke-Groves) mechanisms provide an apt frame-work for solving this problem. We provide a compelling example of a three stage automotive distribution network to illustrate the power and e±cacy of the proposed methodology. The second problem we model and solve is that of designing a revenue maximizing sponsored search auction. This is a problem that is faced by every Internet search engine, such as Google,MSN, and Yahoo!, whenever it receives a search query. In our research, we take a comprehensivelook at existing auction mechanisms for this problem. Our work leads to an innovative new auction mechanism, which we call OPT (optimal mechanism), that exhibits a superior level ofperformance. The proposed mechanism extends, in a non-trivial way, the well known Myersonoptimal auction to the specific setting of sponsored search auctions. The proposed mechanism maximizes the revenue to the search engine and also satisfies two crucial properties, Bayesian incentive compatibility and interim individual rationality. The third contribution is in respect of Stackelberg problems, which are game theoretic problems that involve hierarchical and sequential decision making. By focusing attention on an important subclass of these problems, namely the Single-Leader-Rest-Followers (SLRF) problems, we extend all relevant aspects of classical mechanism design theory to the case of SLRF problems. We derive many important results in respect of procurement auctions with reserve prices using the developed theory. The research carried out as part of this doctoral work, we believe, advances the current art in mechanism design while developing innovative mechanisms to solve those problems.
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