Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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GAF: A General Auction Framework for Secure Combinatorial Auctions

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posted on 2021-11-14, 01:56 authored by Thomson, Wayne

Auctions are an economic mechanism for allocating goods to interested parties. There are many methods, each of which is an Auction Protocol. Some protocols are relatively simple such as English and Dutch auctions, but there are also more complicated auctions, for example combinatorial auctions which sell multiple goods at a time, and secure auctions which incorporate security solutions. Corresponding to the large number of protocols, there is a variety of purposes for which protocols are used. Each protocol has different properties and they differ between how applicable they are to a particular domain.  In this thesis, the protocols explored are privacy preserving secure combinatorial auctions which are particularly well suited to our target domain of computational grid system resource allocation. In grid resource allocation systems, goods are best sold in sets as bidders value different sets of goods differently. For example, when purchasing CPU cycles, memory is also required but a bidder may additionally require network bandwidth. In untrusted distributed systems such as a publicly accessible grid, security properties are paramount. The type of secure combinatorial auction protocols explored in this thesis are privacy preserving protocols which hide the bid values of losing bidder’s bids. These protocols allow bidders to place bids without fear of private information being leaked.  With the large number of permutations of different protocols and configurations, it is difficult to manage the idiosyncrasies of many different protocol implementations within an individual application. This thesis proposes a specification, design, and implementation for a General Auction Framework (GAF). GAF provides a consistent method of implementing different types of auction protocols from the standard English auction through to the more complicated combinatorial and secure auctions. The benefit of using GAF is the ability to easily leverage multiple protocols within a single application due to the consistent specification of protocol construction.  The framework has be tested with three different protocols: the Secure Polynomial auction protocol, the Secure Homomorphic auction protocol and the Secure Garbled Circuits auction protocol. These three protocols and a statistics collecting application is a proof of concept for the framework and provides the beginning of an analysis designed at determining suitable protocol candidates for grid systems.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Computer Science

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970108 Expanding Knowledhe in the Information and Computing Sciences

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Engineering and Computer Science


Bubendorfer, Kris; Welch, Ian