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The Design of Mechanisms to Allocate Space Station Resources

Banks, Jeffrey S. and Ledyard, John O. and Porter, David P. (1987) The Design of Mechanisms to Allocate Space Station Resources. Social Science Working Paper, 648. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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This paper demonstrates the use of applied organizational design to investigate possible mechanisms to allocate the resources of Space Station. First, a specific laboratory experimental environment (testbed) and baseline policy are developed using the salient technical features of the Space Station and past Space Shuttle experiences. The use of priority contracts to assist in contingent rescheduling of resources due to supply curtailments is established. Next, generalized versions of an English auction and Vickrey-Groves type sealed bid auction are designed and developed to allocate scheduled resource use and priority. Finally, these mechanisms are tested and evaluated in the testbed. The data demonstrates that the expected efficiency increases significantly using the auction mechanisms rather than allocations from first-come-first-served processes. However, the auction mechanisms do not produce outcomes near the 100% level of efficiency. Several results are dedicated to the revenue generating properties of the mechanisms and individual bidding behavior.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Additional Information:We would like to acknowledge the computer programming assistance of Peter Gray and Mark Olson. We would like to thank Bob Benson of NASA (Payload Engineering) for his patience in answering our many questions concerning Spacelab allocation procedures. Financial assistance from the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences at Caltech and from JPL is gratefully acknowledged.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Caltech Division of Humanities and Social SciencesUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Mechanisms, pricing, uncertainty, fitting, experiments, priority, scheduling, auctions
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:648
Classification Code:JEL: 022, 026, 215.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170908-151906378
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81274
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:11 Sep 2017 18:52
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:40

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