Using AI to design the perfect auction

AI has achieved a significant amount in recent years, but perhaps one of the more interesting applications was in the design of the auction of airwaves by researchers from UBC and Stanford University.  The process was described in a recently published paper.

The last few decades have seen a significant shift in the use of bandwidth, as mobile operators gobble up more of the spectrum from television broadcasters.  This is especially so as mobile data usage has mushroomed.

Physical limitations restrict the amount of bandwidth available to carry all data across the air, but traditionally there has never been enough data to brush up against those limits.  That has changed however, and the FCC recently asked the TV stations to auction off any of their unneeded airwaves to free up space for mobile data in a move designed to free up 84 megahertz of spectrum, generating some $17 billion for both the government and the broadcasters.

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