Tech Reports


Context Dependence in Multiagent Resource Allocation

Paul E. Dunne


A standard assumption in studies of multiagent resource allocation problems is that the value an individual agent places on its assignment remains unchanged by any redistribution of the remaining resources among the other agents. This assumption renders impossible analyses of scenarios where the utility an agent attaches to a particular set of resources is determined by factors other than the resource set itself. Thus an agent s perception of what its allocation is worth may be tempered by its view of what other agents in the system may own, e.g. if working within a coalition a particular allocation may assume a greater value if other coalition members hold certain resources. In this paper we develop a model for examining such context dependent valuations and consider various decision problems related to the existence of context dependent allocations satisfying various criteria.

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