103 research outputs found

    Incentives and Efficiency in Uncertain Collaborative Environments

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    We consider collaborative systems where users make contributions across multiple available projects and are rewarded for their contributions in individual projects according to a local sharing of the value produced. This serves as a model of online social computing systems such as online Q&A forums and of credit sharing in scientific co-authorship settings. We show that the maximum feasible produced value can be well approximated by simple local sharing rules where users are approximately rewarded in proportion to their marginal contributions and that this holds even under incomplete information about the player's abilities and effort constraints. For natural instances we show almost 95% optimality at equilibrium. When players incur a cost for their effort, we identify a threshold phenomenon: the efficiency is a constant fraction of the optimal when the cost is strictly convex and decreases with the number of players if the cost is linear

    Manipulating the Quota in Weighted Voting Games

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    Weighted voting games provide a popular model of decision making in multiagent systems. Such games are described by a set of players, a list of players' weights, and a quota; a coalition of the players is said to be winning if the total weight of its members meets or exceeds the quota. The power of a player in such games is traditionally identified with her Shapley--Shubik index or her Banzhaf index, two classical power measures that reflect the player's marginal contributions under different coalition formation scenarios. In this paper, we investigate by how much the central authority can change a player's power, as measured by these indices, by modifying the quota. We provide tight upper and lower bounds on the changes in the individual player's power that can result from a change in quota. We also study how the choice of quota can affect the relative power of the players. From the algorithmic perspective, we provide an efficient algorithm for determining whether there is a value of the quota that makes a given player a {\em dummy}, i.e., reduces his power (as measured by both indices) to 0. On the other hand, we show that checking which of the two values of the quota makes this player more powerful is computationally hard, namely, complete for the complexity class PP, which is believed to be significantly more powerful than NP

    Social Status and Badge Design

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    Many websites rely on user-generated content to provide value to consumers. These websites typically incentivize participation by awarding users badges based on their contributions. While these badges typically have no explicit value, they act as symbols of social status within a community. In this paper, we consider the design of badge mechanisms for the objective of maximizing the total contributions made to a website. Users exert costly effort to make contributions and, in return, are awarded with badges. A badge is only valued to the extent that it signals social status and thus badge valuations are determined endogenously by the number of users who earn each badge. The goal of this paper is to study the design of optimal and approximately badge mechanisms under these status valuations. We characterize badge mechanisms by whether they use a coarse partitioning scheme, i.e. awarding the same badge to many users, or use a fine partitioning scheme, i.e. awarding a unique badge to most users. We find that the optimal mechanism uses both fine partitioning and coarse partitioning. When status valuations exhibit a decreasing marginal value property, we prove that coarse partitioning is a necessary feature of any approximately optimal mechanism. Conversely, when status valuations exhibit an increasing marginal value property, we prove that fine partitioning is necessary for approximate optimality

    Optimising Trade-offs Among Stakeholders in Ad Auctions

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    We examine trade-offs among stakeholders in ad auctions. Our metrics are the revenue for the utility of the auctioneer, the number of clicks for the utility of the users and the welfare for the utility of the advertisers. We show how to optimize linear combinations of the stakeholder utilities, showing that these can be tackled through a GSP auction with a per-click reserve price. We then examine constrained optimization of stakeholder utilities. We use simulations and analysis of real-world sponsored search auction data to demonstrate the feasible trade-offs, examining the effect of changing the allowed number of ads on the utilities of the stakeholders. We investigate both short term effects, when the players do not have the time to modify their behavior, and long term equilibrium conditions. Finally, we examine a combinatorially richer constrained optimization problem, where there are several possible allowed configurations (templates) of ad formats. This model captures richer ad formats, which allow using the available screen real estate in various ways. We show that two natural generalizations of the GSP auction rules to this domain are poorly behaved, resulting in not having a symmetric Nash equilibrium or having one with poor welfare. We also provide positive results for restricted cases.Comment: 18 pages, 10 figures, ACM Conference on Economics and Computation 201

    Optimal Coalition Structures in Cooperative Graph Games

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    Representation languages for coalitional games are a key research area in algorithmic game theory. There is an inherent tradeoff between how general a language is, allowing it to capture more elaborate games, and how hard it is computationally to optimize and solve such games. One prominent such language is the simple yet expressive Weighted Graph Games (WGGs) representation [14], which maintains knowledge about synergies between agents in the form of an edge weighted graph. We consider the problem of finding the optimal coalition structure in WGGs. The agents in such games are vertices in a graph, and the value of a coalition is the sum of the weights of the edges present between coalition members. The optimal coalition structure is a partition of the agents to coalitions, that maximizes the sum of utilities obtained by the coalitions. We show that finding the optimal coalition structure is not only hard for general graphs, but is also intractable for restricted families such as planar graphs which are amenable for many other combinatorial problems. We then provide algorithms with constant factor approximations for planar, minor-free and bounded degree graphs.Comment: 16 pages. A short version of this paper is to appear at AAAI 201

    Solving Cooperative Reliability Games

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    Cooperative games model the allocation of profit from joint actions, following considerations such as stability and fairness. We propose the reliability extension of such games, where agents may fail to participate in the game. In the reliability extension, each agent only "survives" with a certain probability, and a coalition's value is the probability that its surviving members would be a winning coalition in the base game. We study prominent solution concepts in such games, showing how to approximate the Shapley value and how to compute the core in games with few agent types. We also show that applying the reliability extension may stabilize the game, making the core non-empty even when the base game has an empty core

    Open-ended Learning in Symmetric Zero-sum Games

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    Zero-sum games such as chess and poker are, abstractly, functions that evaluate pairs of agents, for example labeling them `winner' and `loser'. If the game is approximately transitive, then self-play generates sequences of agents of increasing strength. However, nontransitive games, such as rock-paper-scissors, can exhibit strategic cycles, and there is no longer a clear objective -- we want agents to increase in strength, but against whom is unclear. In this paper, we introduce a geometric framework for formulating agent objectives in zero-sum games, in order to construct adaptive sequences of objectives that yield open-ended learning. The framework allows us to reason about population performance in nontransitive games, and enables the development of a new algorithm (rectified Nash response, PSRO_rN) that uses game-theoretic niching to construct diverse populations of effective agents, producing a stronger set of agents than existing algorithms. We apply PSRO_rN to two highly nontransitive resource allocation games and find that PSRO_rN consistently outperforms the existing alternatives.Comment: ICML 2019, final versio