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The problem of sharing manufacturing, inventory, or capacity to improve performance is applicable in many decentralized operational contexts. However, the solution of such problems commonly requires an intermediary or a broker to manage information security concerns of individual participants. The authors' goal is to examine use of cryptographic techniques to attain the same result without the use of a broker. To illustrate this approach, they focus on a problem faced by independent trucking companies that have separate pick-up and delivery tasks and wish to identify potential efficiency-enhancing task swaps while limiting the information they must reveal to identify these swaps.
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