Approximation Algorithms for the Bid Construction Problem in Combinatorial Auctions for the Procurement of Freight Transportation Contracts
The bid valuation and construction problem for carriers facing combinatorial auctions for the procurement of freight transportation contracts is very difficult and involves the computation of a number of NP-hard sub problems. In this paper we examine computationally tractable approximation methods for estimating these values and constructing bids. The benefit of our approximation method is that it provides a way for carriers to construct optimal or near optimal bids by solving a single NP-hard problem. This represents a significant improvement in efficiency. In addition, this method can be extended to many other applications.