Online Mechanism Design and Its Application to EV Charging

Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 2:45pm – 7:00pm
Presented by Valentin Robu
Located in Main Amphitheatre – Science bldg.
In track Research talks

We introduce a novel online mechanism that schedules the allocation of an expiring and continuously-produced resource to self-interested agents with private preferences. A key application of our mechanism is the charging of electric vehicles, where owners arrive dynamically over time, and each owner requires a minimum amount of charge by its departure to complete its next trip. To truthfully elicit the agents’ preferences in this setting, we introduce the new concept of pre-commitment: Whenever an agent is selected, our mechanism pre-commits to charging the vehicle by its reported departure time, but maintains flexibility about when the charging takes place and at what rate. Furthermore, to make effective allocation decisions we use a model-based approach by modifying Consensus, a well-known online optimisation algorithm. We show that our pre-commitment mechanism with modified Consensus incentivises truthful reporting. Furthermore, through simulations based on real-world data, we show empirically that the average utility achieved by our mechanism is 93% or more of the offline optimal.