Verification of Multi-Layered Assignment Problems

Barak Steindl, Meirav Zehavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The class of assignment problems is a fundamental and well-studied class in the intersection of Social Choice, Computational Economics and Discrete Allocation. In a general assignment problem, a group of agents expresses preferences over a set of items, and the task is to allocate items to agents in an “optimal” way. A verification variant of this problem includes an allocation as part of the input, and the question becomes whether this allocation is “optimal”. In this paper, we generalize the verification variant to the setting where each agent is equipped with multiple incomplete preference lists: Each list (called a layer) is a ranking of items in a possibly different way according to a different criterion. In particular, we introduce three multi-layer verification problems, each corresponds to an optimality notion that weakens the notion of global optimality (that is, pareto optimality in multiple layers) in a different way. Informally, the first notion requires that, for each group of agents whose size is exactly some input parameter k, the agents in the group will not be able to trade their assigned items among themselves and benefit in at least α layers; the second notion is similar, but it concerns all groups of size at most k rather than exactly k; the third notion strengthens these notions by requiring that groups of k agents will not be part of possibly larger groups that benefit in at least α layers. We study the three problems from the perspective of parameterized complexity under several natural parameterizations such as the number of layers, the number of agents, the number of items, the number of allocated items, the maximum length of a preference list, and more. We present an almost comprehensive picture of the parameterized complexity of the problems with respect to these parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15
JournalAutonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • Assignment problems
  • Computational Social Choice
  • Multilayer models
  • Parameterized complexity
  • Verification of assignment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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