Mechanism Design for Team Formation
Keywords:mechanism design, hedonic games, coalition formation
Team formation is a core problem in AI. Remarkably, little prior work has addressed the problem of mechanism design for team formation, accounting for the need to elicit agents' preferences over potential teammates. Coalition formation in the related hedonic games has received much attention, but only from the perspective of coalition stability, with little emphasis on the mechanism design objectives of true preference elicitation, social welfare, and equity. We present the first formal mechanism design framework for team formation, building on recent combinatorial matching market design literature. We exhibit four mechanisms for this problem, two novel, two simple extensions of known mechanisms from other domains. Two of these (one new, one known) have desirable theoretical properties. However, we use extensive experiments to show our second novel mechanism, despite having no theoretical guarantees, empirically achieves good incentive compatibility, welfare, and fairness.