E1:254 Game Theory

Siddharth Barman and Y.Narahari
Game Theory Laboratory
Computer Science and Automation
Indian Institute of Science

Game theory and mechanism design offer an important tool traditionally used in microeconomics. They offer an excellent framework to model, analyze, and solve decentralized design problems involving multiple autonomous agents that interact strategically in a rational and intelligent way. It is worth recalling that the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for the year 2012 was awarded to celebrated game theorists Lloyd Shapley and Alvin Roth. Before that, in 2007, the prize was awarded jointly to celebrated economists Leonid Hurwicz, Eric Maskin, and Roger Myerson for laying the foundations of mechanism design theory. And, just two years before that, in 2005, Thomas Schelling and Robert Aumann had received the Nobel prize for their path-breaking work in game theory.

In the past two decades, game theory has been embraced by computer science and electrical engineering disciplines in the context of many emerging applications in artificial intelligence and electronic commerce. Examples of these problems include design of decentralized algorithms involving selfish agents, design of sponsored search auctions on the web, design of procurement markets in electronic commerce, design of robust communication protocols, design of resource allocation mechanisms in computational grids, analysis of social networks, etc. An emerging discipline, algorithmic game theory, which is concerned with design and analysis of game theoretic algorithms, is now an active research area.

Game theory deals with analysis of games while mechanism design deals with design of games. The objective of this course is to provide a foundation of game theory and mechanism design to help course participants apply these foundations to problem solving in a rigorous way. At the end of this course, the students can expect to be able to model real-world situations using game theory, analyze the situations using game theoretic concepts, and design correct and robust solutions (mechanisms, algorithms, protocols) that would work for rational and intelligent agents. The students will have an opportunity to obtain an exposure to and a serious appreciation of the seminal contributions of celebrities such as von Neumann, John Nash, Lloyd Shapley, Robert Aumann, William Vickrey, Leonid Hurwicz, Eric Maskin, and Roger Myerson.

The course will be in four parts: (1) Noncooperative Game Theory (2) Cooperative Game Theory (3) Algorithmic Game Theory and (4) Mechanism Design.

In the January - April 2018 Edition of this course, Y. Narahari will be covering (1) and (2) while Siddharth Barman will be covering (3) and (4). The lecture sessions will be on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9.30 to 11 AM in CSA 117 (with Mondays - 9.30 to 11 AM) as a backup option.

We are delighted to announce that the first lecture in this course will be delivered at 9.30 AM on January 3, 2018 by the Knuth Prize, Godel Prize, and von Neumann Award winner, Professor Christos Papadimitriou, who also has won the Kalai Prize for Computer Science in Game Theory.

Nobel Prize Winners in Game Theory

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