Two-Sided Matching Markets with Correlated Random Preferences

Hugo Gimbert, Claire Mathieu, Simon Mauras

Stable matching in a community consisting of men and women is a classical combinatorial problem that has been the subject of intense theoretical and empirical study since its introduction in 1962 in a seminal paper by Gale and Shapley, who designed the celebrated ``deferred acceptance'' algorithm for the problem. In the input, each participant ranks participants of the opposite type, so the input consists of a collection of permutations, representing the preference lists. A bipartite matching is unstable if some man-woman pair is blocking: both strictly prefer each other to their partner in the matching. Stability is an important economics concept in matching markets from the viewpoint of manipulability. The unicity of a stable matching implies non-manipulability, and near-unicity implies limited manipulability, thus these are mathematical properties related to the quality of stable matching algorithms. This paper is a theoretical study of the effect of correlations on approximate manipulability of stable matching algorithms. Our approach is to go beyond worst case, assuming that some of the input preference lists are drawn from a distribution. Our model encompasses a discrete probabilistic process inspired by a popularity model introduced by Immorlica and Mahdian, that provides a way to capture correlation between preference lists. Approximate manipulability is approached from several angles : when all stable partners of a person have approximately the same rank; or when most persons have a unique stable partner. Another quantity of interest is a person's number of stable partners. Our results aim to paint a picture of the manipulability of stable matchings in a ``beyond worst case'' setting.

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