What’s in it for me? Incentive-compatible route coordination of crowdsourced resources
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CitationBassem, Christine; Bestavros, Azer. Incentive-Compatible Route Coordination of Crowdsourced Resources. Technical Report BU-CS-TR 2016-004, Computer Science Department, Boston University, March 30, 2016.
With the recent trend in crowdsourcing, i.e., using the power of crowds to assist in satisfying demand, the pool of resources suitable for GeoPresence-capable systems has expanded to include already roaming devices, such as mobile phones, and moving vehicles. We envision an environment, in which the motion of these crowdsourced mobile resources is coordinated, according to their preexisting schedules to satisfy geo-temporal demand on a mobility field. In this paper, we propose an incentive compatible route coordination mechanism for crowdsourced resources, in which participating mobile agents satisfy geo-temporal requests in return for monetary rewards. We define the Flexible Route Coordination (FRC) problem, in which an agent’s flexibility is exploited to maximize the coverage of a mobility field, with an objective to maximize the revenue collected from satisfied paying requests. Given that the FRC problem is NP-hard, we define an optimal algorithm to plan the route of a single agent on a graph with evolving labels, then we use that algorithm to define a 1/2-approximation algorithm to solve the problem in its general model, with multiple agents. Moreover, we define an incentive compatible, rational, and cash-positive payment mechanism, which guarantees that an agent’s truthfulness about its flexibility is an ex-post Nash equilibrium strategy. Finally, we analyze the proposed mechanisms theoretically, and evaluate their performance experimentally using real mobility traces from urban environments.