Earlier this year, I covered the work of New York University’s Steven Brams on an “envy-free” process for dividing personal property in divorce.
And while Brams explained the math behind his fair division work, I lamented the fact that there wasn’t a low (or no) cost software that could actually be of use to separating couples.
No longer. Thanks to Ariel Procaccia and Jonathan Goldman of Carnegie Melon University, spiddit.org now offers free access to a user-friendly fair-division algorithm for personal property. Based on Professor Procaccia’s work, “Fair Enough: Guaranteeing Approximate Maximin Shares,” the website is designed to divide personal property in an “envy-free” way (that is to say “each participant believes that her bundle of goods is at least as valuable as every other participant’s bundle.”
Spliddit just launched in the past week, but its applications to divorcing couples are obvious. While many couples pay hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars to submit these issues to arbitration or a Judge, Spliddit provides an efficient and low-cost way to divide household goods and furnishings with at least mathematical fairness.