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Revenue Optimal Auction for Single-Minded Buyers

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Abstract:

We study the problem of characterizing revenue optimal auctions for single-minded buyers. Each buyer is interested only in a specific bundle of items and has a value for the same. Both his bundle and its value are his private information. The bundles that buyers are interested in and their corresponding values are assumed to be realized from known probability distributions independent across the buyers. We identify revenue optimal auctions with a simple structure, if the conditional distribution of any buyer's valuation is nondecreasing, in the hazard rates ordering of probability distributions, as a function of the bundle the buyer is interested in. The revenue optimal auction is given by the solution of a maximum weight independent set problem. We provide a novel graphical construction of the weights and highlight important properties of the resulting auction.

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