GAME 2010

Yesterday we went to the banquet in a very nice restaurant, in the centre
of Shanghai. Nice company and surprising food have made a beautiful evening.
I have launched myself into eating jellyfish; Nina skipped that: wisdom has never
been a quality of mine.

Me and Nina are at GAME2010, International Summer School on Algorithmic
Game Theory. Of course in Shanghai. The weather is somewhat humid, but news
from Rome say that there are cases of self ignition of people there, so I do not
really feel like complaining…

Avrim Blum has introduced some basic concepts in game theory in the first
lecture, such as Nash equilibria, zero-sum games and minimax-optimal
strategies. A good start, just to warm up people already in the field and
give some building blocks to those who are new to the topic.
During the introductory lecture, various interesting, although old, results
have been presented. For instance we discovered that adding highways to a road
network can increase the travel time between two points, even though it would
seem to help. Or that when shooting a penalty, it is way better not to have
a deterministic strategy, but just choose at random where to kick the ball,
left or right. And also the goal keeper should do the same.

Stefano Leonardi has presented approximation techniques for cost sharing and
utilitarian mechanisms. Then he also talked about combinatorial auctions with
budgets.
For cost sharing mechanisms, where a group of users shares in some way the cost
of a service, the main issue is to ensure, along with other
properties, the so called group strategyproofness; that is, even
though users of some service collaborate, their best strategy is to bid for the
service the true utility they would get in return. In order to achieve this
characteristic of the mechanisms, preserving the others, the cross
monotonicity
property can be exploited. This property consists in the fact
that when a new player joins the game, the cost shares of other players do not
increase.

1 Response to “GAME 2010”


  1. 1 nsta August 9, 2010 at 13:09

    I did try the jellyfish!

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