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March 17, 2006

ICD with a twist

In a comment on Felten's blog article about false congestion as an incentive to send less traffic, Jim Horning reminded me of a classic article by Coffman and Kleinrock about incentives in scheduling computer resources:

E.G. Coffman and L. Kleinrock. “Computer scheduling methods and their countermeasures.� In AFIPS conference proceedings, volume 32, pages 11–21, 1968.

Coffman and Kleinrock argue that users will adapt to any scheduling rule implemented. Therefore, they argue, an incentive-compatible designer would decide which new behavior she wants users to adopt, and then implement a scheduling rule that to which that behavior is the best countermeasure. That's a very apt and clever way to express the principle of incentive-centered design!

Posted by jmm at March 17, 2006 01:38 AM