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 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 awarde 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 having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory. 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 decade, game theory and mechanism design have emerged as an important tool for solving numerous problems in computer science and Internet economics problems. 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.

The objective of this course is to provide a foundation of game theory to help students apply game theory 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 three parts: (1) Noncooperative Game Theory (2) Mechanism Design and (3) Cooperative Game Theory.

Nobel Prize Winners in Game Theory

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