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Hardness Results for Multicast Cost Sharing

By Joan Feigenbaum, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Rahul Sami and Scott Shenker


We continue the study of multicast cost sharing from the viewpoints of both computational complexity and economic mechanism design. We provide fundamental lower bounds on the network complexity of group-strategyproof, budget-balanced mechanisms. We also extend a classical impossibility result in game theory to show that no strategyproof mechanism can be both approximately efficient and approximately budget-balanced. Our results show that one important and natural case of multicast cost sharing is an example (to our knowledge, the first in the literature) of a representative hard problem in distributed, algorithmic mechanism design; in this sense, they represent progress toward the development of a "complexity theory of Internet computation.&quot

Topics: Algorithmic mechanism design, communication complexity, multicast
Year: 2002
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