Course info
Projects
UW CS
Theory Group

Course Info
This course presents a computational and algorithmic approach
to designing and analyzing economic systems. Read
more here.
Lecture notes, readings, etc.
 1/18: Introduction to equilibria, the price of anarchy, and the Vickrey auction. Readings: excerpt1, excerpt2, [1 §1.3].
 1/20: Combinatorial auctions, the VCG mechanism. Readings: Roughgarden's notes, [1 §11.111.2]. Extra readings: [2], [3]
 1/25: No lecture
 1/27: The LOS mechanism. Readings: Roughgarden's notes, Hartline's notes
 2/1: The LOS mechanism, singleparameter mechanisms. Readings: same as last time. Note: this lecture will start at 9 am.
 2/3: Singleparameter settings: monotonicity and truthfulness; revenue maximization. Readings: [1 §13.1, §13.2], [4 §2.3§2.6]
 2/8: Bayesian incentive compatibility, Myerson's mechanism. Readings: [4 §4 up to §4.4]
 2/10: Applications of Myerson's lemma; The nearoptimality of Vickrey's auction. Readings: [4 §4.4, §5.1.1]. Optional: [4 §4.5, §5.1.2].
 2/15: Profit maximization with little prior
information. Readings: [4 §5.1.1, §6.1, §6.3].
 2/17: Priorfree profit maximization. Readings: [4 §6.5.1§6.5.4]
 2/22: Wrapup discussion of RSPE; blackbox reductions to
algorithm design. Readings: [4 §3.5]
 2/24: Blackbox reductions. Readings: [4 §3.5]
 3/1: Wrapup blackbox reductions.
 3/3: The inefficiency of equilibria. Readings: [1 §17.1, §17.2, §18.1, §18.2]. Optional: notes from Yishay Mansour's class.
 3/8: (lecturer: David Malec) Selfish routing: a bound on the
PoA. Readings: [1 §18.1, §18.2, §18.3.1, §18.4.1]. Optional: notes from Yishay Mansour's class.
 3/10: (lecturer: David Malec) Selfish routing: a better bound on
the PoA, marginal cost pricing. Readings: [1 §18.4.1,
§18.5.1]. Optional: notes
from Eva Tardos's class.
 3/22: Selfish routing: capacity augmentation. Potential games. Readings: [1 §18.5.2]. Optional: notes
from Eva Tardos's class.
 3/24: Network cost sharing; price of stability. Bandwidth
sharing. Readings: [1§9.3]. Optional: notes
from Eva Tardos's class.
 3/29: Bandwidth sharing: Kelly's mechanism and PoA
analysis. Readings: notes 1,
2, and 3 from Eva Tardos's class.
 3/31: Network pricing. Readings: [5]. Optional: [1 §22.2]
 4/5 and 4/7: No class
 4/12: Nash equilibrium. Nash's theorem and its proof via
Sperner's lemma. Readings: notes 1 & 2
from Chandra Chekuri's class.
 4/14: Complete Nash's theorem. Start 2player zerosum
games. Readings: same as previous lecture.
 4/19: Von Neumann's minimax theorem. Readings: Daskalakis' notes, Chekuri's notes
 4/21: Approximate Nash equilibria and the LiptonMarkakisMehta
algorithm. Readings: [6], Miltersen's notes
(see §3). Notes
on ChernoffHoeffding bounds (see §11.2). See also [7].
 4/26: LemkeHowson algorithm; the classes FNP and PPAD. Readings:
[1 §2.3, §2.4]
 4/28: Complexity of finding NE; Correlated equilibria. Readings: TBA
Homework
 Hwk 1: Out Feb 8, due Feb 22. pdf
 Hwk 2: Out Feb 22, due Mar 11. pdf
 Hwk 3: Out Mar 22, due Apr 5. pdf
Project details and timeline
Project details and ideas can be found here (UW access only).
 Feb 22: Short description of topic, goals and project team due (as part of HW1).
 Mar 22: Up to one page report of progress, reference material, plans for the remainder of the semester. Before this date, please make an appointment with Shuchi to discuss potential topics and references.
 May 3: Final project reports due.
 May 5: Two projects (selected on the basis of the final reports) to be showcased during this lecture.
References
 Algorithmic
Game Theory by Nisan, Roughgarden, Tardos, and Vazirani. (Free version here).
 Algorithmic Mechanism Design by Nisan and Ronen.
 Truth revelation in approximately efficient combinatorial auctions by Lehmann, O'Callaghan, and Shoham.
 Approximation and Mechanism Design. Lecture notes by Jason Hartline.
 Bertrand
Competition in Networks by Chawla and Roughgarden.
 Playing
large games using simple strategies by Lipton, Markakis, and Mehta.
 A
note on approximate Nash equilibria by Daskalakis, Mehta, and Papadimitriou.
