New Frontiers of Automated Mechanism Design for Pricing and Auctions

Maria-Florina Balcan, Tuomas Sandholm, and Ellen Vitercik

Mechanism design is a field of game theory with significant real-world impact, encompassing areas such as pricing and auction design. Mechanisms are used in sales settings ranging from large-scale internet marketplaces to the US government's radio spectrum reallocation efforts. A powerful and prominent approach in this field is automated mechanism design, which uses optimization and machine learning to design mechanisms based on data. This automated approach helps overcome challenges faced by traditional, manual approaches to mechanism design, which have been stuck for decades due to inherent computational complexity challenges: the revenue-maximizing mechanism is not known even for just two items for sale! This workshop is focused on the rapidly growing area of automated mechanism design for revenue maximization. This encompasses both the foundations of batch and online learning (including statistical guarantees and optimization procedures), as well as real-world success stories.

Tutorial at the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

February 2020.

Tutorial at the International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI)

August 2019.

Tutorial at the Conference on Economics and Computation (EC)

June 2019. Includes video (part 1 and part 2) of the tutorial.

Workshop at the ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC)

June 2019.

Tutorial at the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

January 2019.

Tutorial at the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML)

July 2018. Includes video of the tutorial.