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Vickrey Auctions for Railway Tracks

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:0297-zib-10855
  • We consider an auction of slots to run trains through a railway network. In contrast to the classical setting for combinatorial auctions, there is not only competition for slots, but slots can mutually exclude each other, such that general conflict constraints on bids arise. This turns the winner determination problem associated with such an auction into a complex combinatorial optimization problem. It also raises a number of auction design questions, in particular, on incentive compatibilty. We propose a single-shot second price auction for railway slots, the Vickrey Track Auction (VTA). We show that this auction is incentive compatible, i.e., rational bidders are always motivated to bid their true valuation, and that it produces efficient allocations, even in the presence of constraints on allocations. These properties are, however, lost when rules on the submission of bids such as, e.g., lowest bids, are imposed. Our results carry over to generalized" Vickrey auctions with combinatorial constraints.

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Author:Ralf BorndörferORCiD, Annette Mura, Thomas Schlechte
Document Type:ZIB-Report
Tag:Fahrplanung; Vickrey Auktion
Track Allocation Problem; Vickrey Auction
Date of first Publication:2008/08/18
Series (Serial Number):ZIB-Report (08-34)
Published in:Appeared in: Operations Research Proceedings 2008. Bernhard Fleischmann ... (eds.) Springer 2009, pp. 551-556
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