April 14 – 19 , 2013, Dagstuhl Seminar 13161

Interface of Computation, Game Theory, and Economics


Sergiu Hart (The Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem, IL)
Éva Tardos (Cornell University, US)
Bernhard von Stengel (London School of Economics, GB)

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The aim of this seminar was to study research issues at the interface of computing, game theory and economics. It facilitated discussions among people working in different disciplines. The majority of participants were academics from computer science departments, and the others (about one third) from other disciplines such as economics or corporate research departments of Google or Microsoft. All have strong cross-disciplinary interests.

Economic transactions on the internet are of ever-increasing importance. In order to execute and support them algorithmically, it is important to understand the agents' incentives on one hand and computational constraints on the other hand. This is studied in approaches to mechanism design and auctions, which formed a large part of the topics of this workshop.

Theoretical and practical issues of mechanism design were topics of the following presentations: epistemic implementations with belief levels (Jing Chen), translating agent-provided inputs to optimization (Constantinos Daskalakis), reward schemes (Shahar Dobzinski), the difficulties of allocating more than one good (Sergiu Hart), advertisement exchanges (Vahab Mirrokni), mechanisms for the private supply of a public good (Rudolf Müller), truthfulness versus privacy (Aaron Roth), composing mechanisms (Vasilis Syrgkanis), and allocating indivisible objects (Rakesh V. Vohra).

Aspects of auctions concerned "expressiveness" about preferences (Paul Dütting), the approximate optimality of marginal revenue maximization (Jason D. Hartline), improving the design of online advertising auctions (Kevin Leyton-Brown), commitment (Katrina Ligett), inefficiency of multi-unit auctions (Vangelis Markakis), symmetric auctions (Mallesh Pai), interdependent values (Tim Roughgarden), and spectrum auctions (Ilya Segal).

Understanding the interconnectedness of complex economic systems requires models and theories for the underlying network structures and their dynamics. Networks were studied with respect to social segregation (Nicole Immorlica), practical market applications (Ramesh Johari), online creation (Thomas Kesselheim), competition (Brendan Lucier), and social contagion (Sigal Oren).

Social models, with bridges to mechanism design, were studied in presentations on division protocols (Simina Branzei), randomized social choice (Markus Brill), ranking methods (Gabrielle Demange), power changes in voting games (Edith Elkind), and incentives beyond selfishness (Guido Schäfer).

Achieving and computing an equilibrium in dynamic models of large interactions such as games and market models was studied for large aggregative games (Yakov Babichenko), new price updating in markets (Nikhil R. Devanur), payoff queries for games (Paul W. Goldberg), limit processes for evolutionary games (Bill Sandholm), and tournament competitions (Bernhard von Stengel).

The topics were chosen by the presenters, not by the organizers. The rather strong emphasis on mechanism design and auctions (which may have caused one single critical feedback comment on "too much groupthink") reflects the strong current interest in this area, in line with its economic importance, for example as the source of the riches of Google and other internet search engines.

  Creative Commons BY 3.0 Unported license
  Sergiu Hart, Éva Tardos, and Bernhard von Stengel


  • Data Structures / Algorithms / Complexity
  • World Wide Web / Internet


  • Algorithmic Game Theory
  • Economics
  • Internet
  • Nash Equilibria
  • Mechanism Design
  • Auctions

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