CS-ECON Seminar Series
Mechanism Design with Correlated Distributions: Limited
Correlation and Uncertain Distributions
||Tuesday, May 31, 2016
||12:00pm - 1:00pm
||Gross Hall 304B, Duke
||Lunch will be served.
The standard assumption in the mechanism design literature is that the
agents valuations over the outcome are independently distributed.
However, in many situations, it is natural to assume that agents
valuations are correlated. When valuations are correlated, many of the
standard negative results in mechanism design do not apply. Notably,
in a monopolistic auction with n bidders, the seller can extract the
full social surplus as revenue, given certain assumptions about the
correlation structure. However, existing results have two limitations:
1) They provide sufficient, but not necessary conditions for full
surplus extraction, and 2) they require perfect knowledge of the
distribution over agents' valuations. In this talk, I will present
research where we provide necessary and sufficient conditions for full
surplus extraction under correlated valuations for the case of a
monopolistic seller selling one good. Further, we extend the concept
of incentive compatibility and individual rationality to encompass
uncertainty over the distribution of agents' valuations and present a
polynomial time algorithm in the agent types for designing these
mechanisms. Finally, we demonstrate experimentally that these "robust"
mechanisms can significantly outperform other mechanism design
paradigms when the true distribution is estimated.
Michael Albert received his PhD in finance from Duke University in
2013. After receiving his PhD, he was a visiting assistant professor
at The Ohio State University finance department in the Fisher School
of Business from 2013 through 2015. Since then, he has been a
post-doctoral researcher at the Learning Agents Research Group in the
Department of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin
working with Peter Stone.
Hosted by: Vince Conitzer