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Uncoordinated two-sided matching markets

: Ackermann, H.; Goldberg, P.W.; Mirrokni, V.S.; Röglin, H.; Vöcking, B.


SIAM Journal on Computing 40 (2011), Nr.1, S.92-106
ISSN: 0097-5397
ISSN: 1095-7111
Fraunhofer ITWM ()

Various economic interactions can be modeled as two-sided markets. A central solution concept for these markets is stable matchings, introduced by Gale and Shapley. It is well known that stable matchings can be computed in polynomial time, but many real-life markets lack a central authority to match agents. In those markets, matchings are formed by actions of self-interested agents. Knuth introduced uncoordinated two-sided markets and showed that the uncoordinated better response dynamics may cycle. However, Roth and Vande Vate showed that the random better response dynamics converges to a stable matching with probability one, but they did not address the question of convergence time. In this paper, we give an exponential lower bound for the convergence time of the random better response dynamics in two-sided markets. We also extend the results for the better response dynamics to the best response dynamics; i.e., we present a cycle of best responses and prove that the r andom best response dynamics converges to a stable matching with probability one, but its convergence time is exponential. Additionally, we identify the special class of correlated matroid two-sided markets with real-life applications for which we prove that the random best response dynamics converges in expected polynomial time.