Fair Division with a Secretive Agent


  • Eshwar Ram Arunachaleswaran Indian Institute of Science
  • Siddharth Barman Indian Institute of Science
  • Nidhi Rathi Indian Institute of Science




We study classic fair-division problems in a partial information setting. This paper respectively addresses fair division of rent, cake, and indivisible goods among agents with cardinal preferences. We will show that, for all of these settings and under appropriate valuations, a fair (or an approximately fair) division among n agents can be efficiently computed using only the valuations of n − 1 agents. The nth (secretive) agent can make an arbitrary selection after the division has been proposed and, irrespective of her choice, the computed division will admit an overall fair allocation.

For the rent-division setting we prove that well-behaved utilities of n − 1 agents suffice to find a rent division among n rooms such that, for every possible room selection of the secretive agent, there exists an allocation (of the remaining n − 1 rooms among the n − 1 agents) which ensures overall envy freeness (fairness). We complement this existential result by developing a polynomial-time algorithm for the case of quasilinear utilities. In this partial information setting, we also develop efficient algorithms to compute allocations that are envy-free up to one good (EF1) and ε-approximate envy free. These two notions of fairness are applicable in the context of indivisible goods and divisible goods (cake cutting), respectively.

One of the main technical contributions of this paper is the development of novel connections between different fairdivision paradigms, e.g., we use our existential results for envy-free rent-division to develop an efficient EF1 algorithm.




How to Cite

Arunachaleswaran, E. R., Barman, S., & Rathi, N. (2019). Fair Division with a Secretive Agent. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 33(01), 1732-1739. https://doi.org/10.1609/aaai.v33i01.33011732



AAAI Technical Track: Game Theory and Economic Paradigms