Spending Constraint Utilities, With Applications To The Adwords Market
Vazirani, Vijay V.
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The notion of a "market" has undergone a paradigm shift with the Internet - totally new and highly successful markets have been defined and launched by Internet companies, which already form an important part of today's economy and are projected to grow considerably in the future. Another major change is the availability of massive computational power for running these markets in a centralized or distributed manner. In view of these new realities, the study of market equilibria, an important, though essentially non-algorithmic, theory within mathematical economics, needs to be revived and rejuvenated via an inherently algorithmic approach. Such a theory should not only address traditional market models but also define new models for some of the new markets. We present a new, natural class of utility functions which allow buyers to explicitly provide information on their relative preferences as a function of the amount of money spent on each good. These utility functions offer considerable expressivity, especially in Google's Adwords market. In addition, they lend themselves to efficient computation, while still possessing some of the nice properties of traditional models.