252140700L Algorithmic Game Theory
Semester  Autumn Semester 2015 
Lecturers  P. Widmayer 
Periodicity  yearly course 
Language of instruction  English 
Catalogue data
Abstract  Game theory provides a formal model to study the behavior and interaction of selfinterested users and programs in largescale distributed computer systems without central control. The course discusses algorithmic aspects of game theory. 
Objective  Learning the basic concepts of game theory and mechanism design, acquiring the computational paradigm of selfinterested agents, and using these concepts in the computational and algorithmic setting. 
Content  The Internet is a typical example of a largescale distributed computer system without central control, with users that are typically only interested in their own good. For instance, they are interested in getting high bandwidth for themselves, but don't care about others, and the same is true for computational load or download rates. Game theory provides a particularly wellsuited model for the behaviour and interaction of such selfish users and programs. Classical game theory dates back to the 1930s and typically does not consider algorithmic aspects at all. Only a few years back, algorithms and game theory have been considered together, in an attempt to reconcile selfish behavior of independent agents with the common good. This course discusses algorithmic aspects of gametheoretic models, with a focus on recent algorithmic and mathematical developments. Rather than giving an overview of such developments, the course aims to study selected important topics in depth. Outline:  Introduction to classical game theoretic concepts.  Existence of stable solutions (equilibria), algorithms for computing equilibria, computational complexity.  The cost difference between an optimum under central control and an equilibrium under selfish agents, known as the "price of anarchy".  Auctionlike mechanisms and algorithms that "direct" the actions of selfish agents into a certain desired equilibrium situation.  Selected current research topics of Algorithmic Game Theory, such as WebSearch Based Keyword Auctions, or Information Cascading in Social Networks 
Lecture notes  No lecture notes. 
Literature  "Algorithmic Game Theory", edited by N. Nisan, T. Roughgarden, E. Tardos, and V. Vazirani, Cambridge University Press, 2008; "Game Theory and Strategy", Philip D. Straffin, The Mathematical Association of America, 5th printing, 2004 Several copies of both books are available in the Computer Science library. 
Prerequisites / Notice  Audience: Although this is a Computer Science course, we encourage the participation from all students who are interested in this topic. Requirements: You should enjoy precise mathematical reasoning. You need to have passed a course on algorithms and complexity. No knowledge of game theory is required. 
Performance assessment
Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)  
Performance assessment as a semester course  
ECTS credits  7 credits 
Examiners  P. Widmayer 
Type  session examination 
Language of examination  English 
Course attendance confirmation required  No 
Repetition  The performance assessment is only offered in the session after the course unit. Repetition only possible after reenrolling. 
Mode of examination  written 180 minutes 
Additional information on mode of examination  There will be one graded exercise sheet that will contribute with a weight of 15% towards the final grade. The graded exercise sheet will be in the middle of the semester. 
Written aids  no supporting material allowed 
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding. 
Learning materials
Main link  Information 
Only public learning materials are listed. 
Courses
Number  Title  Hours  Lecturers  

252140700 V  Algorithmic Game Theory  3 hrs 

P. Widmayer  
252140700 U  Algorithmic Game Theory  2 hrs 

P. Widmayer  
252140700 A  Algorithmic Game Theory
Project Work, no fixed presence required.
 1 hrs  P. Widmayer 
Restrictions
There are no additional restrictions for the registration. 