Incentivizing High-quality Content from Heterogeneous Users: On the Existence of Nash Equilibrium

Yingce Xia, Tao Qin, Nenghai Yu, Tie-Yan Liu

We study the existence of pure Nash equilibrium (PNE) for the mechanisms used in Internet services (e.g., online reviews and question-answer websites) to incentivize users to generate high-quality content. Most existing work assumes that users are homogeneous and have the same ability. However, real-world users are heterogeneous and their abilities can be very different from each other due to their diverse background, culture, and profession. In this work, we consider heterogeneous users with the following framework: (1) the users are heterogeneous and each of them has a private type indicating the best quality of the content she can generate; (2) there is a fixed amount of reward to allocate to the participated users. Under this framework, we study the existence of pure Nash equilibrium of several mechanisms composed by different allocation rules, action spaces, and information settings. We prove the existence of PNE for some mechanisms and the non-existence of PNE for some mechanisms. We also discuss how to find a PNE for those mechanisms with PNE either through a constructive way or a search algorithm.

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