Cooperation in Dividing the Cake

M. Dall'Aglio, R. Brânzei, S.H. Tijs

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This paper defines models of cooperation among players partition- ing a completely divisible good (such as a cake or a piece of land). The novelty of our approach lies in the players' ability to form coalitions before the actual division of the good with the aim to maximize the average utility of the coalition. A social welfare function which takes into account coalitions drives the division. In addition, we derive a cooperative game which measures the performance of each coalition. This game is compared with the game in which players start cooper- ating only after the good has been portioned and has been allocated among the players. We show that a modified version of the game played before the division outperforms the game played after the di- vision.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherOperations research
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • fair division
  • cooperative games
  • maximin partition

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