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Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization Seminar

For more information, please visit the home page for the program in Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization at Carnegie Mellon University.

Carnegie Mellon University offers an interdisciplinary Ph.D program in Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization. This program is the first of its kind in the United States. It is administered jointly by the Tepper School of Business (Operations Research group), the Computer Science Department (Algorithms and Complexity group) and the Department of Mathematical Sciences (Discrete Mathematics group). (Learn more...)


Constantinos Daskalakis
MIT
Title: An Optimization Approach to Mechanism Design

Abstract: I will present an optimization framework based on optimal transport theory characterizing the structure of revenue-optimal mechanisms in single-bidder multi-item settings. Our framework provides closed-form descriptions of mechanisms, generalizes Myerson's celebrated single-item auction, and exhibits simple settings with very rich structure in the optimal mechanism. This part of the talk is based on work with Alan Deckelbaum and Christos Tzamos.

For the second part of the talk, which will be algorithmic, I will revisit the question posed by Nisan and Ronen in the birth of algorithmic mechanism design: How much harder is optimizing an objective over inputs that are furnished by rational agents compared to when the inputs are known? I will present a computationally efficient reduction from mechanism design (i.e. optimizing an arbitrary objective over rational inputs) to algorithm design (i.e. optimizing the same objective over known inputs) in general Bayesian settings. This part of the talk is based on work with Yang Cai and Matt Weinberg.

Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: Wean Hall 8220
Submitted by:  Boris Bukh