We consider a simple sequential allocation procedure for sharing indivisible items between agents in which agents take turns to pick items. Supposing additive utilities and independence between the agents, we show that the expected utility of each agent is computable in polynomial time. Using this result, we prove that the expected utilitarian social welfare is maximized when agents take alternate turns. We also argue that this mechanism remains optimal when agents behave strategically.
23rd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Proceedings of the 23rd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (Beijing, China 3-9 August, 2013) p. 227-233