2003 年 18 巻 5 号 p. 269-277
This paper focuses on a task allocation problem, especially cases where the task is to find a solution in a search problem or a constraint satisfaction problem. If the search problem is hard to solve, a contractor may fail to find a solution. Here, the more computational resources such as the CPU time the contractor invests in solving the search problem, the more a solution is likely to be found. This brings about a new problem that a contractee has to find an appropriate level of the quality in a task achievement as well as to find an efficient allocation of a task among contractors. For example, if the contractee asks the contractor to find a solution with certainty, the payment from the contractee to the contractor may exceed the contractee's benefit from obtaining a solution, which discourages the contractee from trading a task. However, solving this problem is difficult because the contractee cannot ascertain the contractor's problem-solving ability such as the amount of available resources and knowledge (e.g. algorithms, heuristics) or monitor what amount of resources are actually invested in solving the allocated task. To solve this problem, we propose a task allocation mechanism that is able to choose an appropriate level of the quality in a task achievement and prove that this mechanism guarantees that each contractor reveals its true information. Moreover, we show that our mechanism can increase the contractee's utility compared with a simple auction mechanism by using computer simulation.