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A Truthful Two-Stage Mechanism for Eliciting Probabilistic Estimates with Unknown Costs

A Truthful Two-Stage Mechanism for Eliciting Probabilistic Estimates with Unknown Costs
A Truthful Two-Stage Mechanism for Eliciting Probabilistic Estimates with Unknown Costs
This paper reports on the design of a novel two-stage mechanism, based on strictly proper scoring rules, that motivates selfish rational agents to make a costly probabilistic estimate or forecast of a specified precision and report it truthfully to a centre. Our mechanism is applied in a setting where the centre is faced with multiple agents, and has no knowledge about their costs. Thus, in the first stage of the mechanism, the centre uses a reverse second price auction to allocate the estimation task to the agent who reveals the lowest cost. While, in the second stage, the centre issues a payment based on a strictly proper scoring rule. When taken together, the two stages motivate agents to reveal their true costs, and then to truthfully reveal their estimate. We prove that this mechanism is incentive compatible and individually rational, and then present empirical results comparing the performance of the well known quadratic, spherical and logarithmic scoring rules. We show that the quadratic and the logarithmic rules result in the centre making the highest and the lowest expected payment to agents respectively. At the same time, however, the payments of the latter rule are unbounded, and thus the spherical rule proves to be the best candidate in this setting.
448-452
Papakonstantinou, Athanasios
5d5e67a7-d364-497e-9c30-fbb5df39cc02
Rogers, Alex
f9130bc6-da32-474e-9fab-6c6cb8077fdc
Gerding, Enrico
d9e92ee5-1a8c-4467-a689-8363e7743362
Jennings, Nick
ab3d94cc-247c-4545-9d1e-65873d6cdb30
Papakonstantinou, Athanasios
5d5e67a7-d364-497e-9c30-fbb5df39cc02
Rogers, Alex
f9130bc6-da32-474e-9fab-6c6cb8077fdc
Gerding, Enrico
d9e92ee5-1a8c-4467-a689-8363e7743362
Jennings, Nick
ab3d94cc-247c-4545-9d1e-65873d6cdb30

Papakonstantinou, Athanasios, Rogers, Alex, Gerding, Enrico and Jennings, Nick (2008) A Truthful Two-Stage Mechanism for Eliciting Probabilistic Estimates with Unknown Costs. In Proceedings of the 18th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI 2008), Patras, Greece. pp. 448-452 .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

This paper reports on the design of a novel two-stage mechanism, based on strictly proper scoring rules, that motivates selfish rational agents to make a costly probabilistic estimate or forecast of a specified precision and report it truthfully to a centre. Our mechanism is applied in a setting where the centre is faced with multiple agents, and has no knowledge about their costs. Thus, in the first stage of the mechanism, the centre uses a reverse second price auction to allocate the estimation task to the agent who reveals the lowest cost. While, in the second stage, the centre issues a payment based on a strictly proper scoring rule. When taken together, the two stages motivate agents to reveal their true costs, and then to truthfully reveal their estimate. We prove that this mechanism is incentive compatible and individually rational, and then present empirical results comparing the performance of the well known quadratic, spherical and logarithmic scoring rules. We show that the quadratic and the logarithmic rules result in the centre making the highest and the lowest expected payment to agents respectively. At the same time, however, the payments of the latter rule are unbounded, and thus the spherical rule proves to be the best candidate in this setting.

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More information

Submitted date: 9 May 2008
Published date: 2008
Venue - Dates: In Proceedings of the 18th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI 2008), Patras, Greece, 2008-01-01
Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 265706
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/265706
PURE UUID: 39669fde-6d8a-471f-96b7-54b6d74ed987
ORCID for Enrico Gerding: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7200-552X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 May 2008 12:58
Last modified: 24 Sep 2019 00:45

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