CPSC 532L - Multiagent Systems (Term 2, Session 201, 2008-09)
Overview | Grades | Final Project | Text | Schedule | Handouts |
Term: 2
Meeting Times: Tuesday and Thursday, 2:00 - 3:30 PM
First Class: Tuesday, January 13, 2008
Location: ICCS 238
Instructor: Kevin Leyton-Brown
Instructor's Office Location: CICSR 185
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 3:30 - 4:00, or by appointment
Mailing List: in your UNIX account, type "
echo subscribe | mailx cpsc532a-request"
Course Topics: Overall, problems at the interface of economic theory and computer science. (No prior experience in economics is assumed.) Specific topic include: Games: normal-form; extensive-form; repeated; stochastic; Bayesian. Computation of game-theoretic solution concepts. Mechanism design: key positive and negative results. Single-good auctions. Combinatorial auctions: bidding; mechanisms; computational issues.
Prerequisites: There are no formal prerequisites, and it is assumed that most students in the class will be unfamiliar with game theory, mechanism design, auction theory, and the literature on multiagent systems. Since some of the material to be covered is quite formal mathematically, students do need to be able to construct and follow formal proofs. Relevant mathematical/CS background includes introductory knowledge of probability theory, computational complexity and combinatorial optimization. Much of the work associated with the course will revolve around reading papers from the Multiagent Systems literature, writing a survey or research paper, and presenting findings to the class. As a result, students who have trouble reading, speaking or writing comfortably in English will find themselves at a disadvantage.
Academic Honesty: Plagiarism is a serious offence and will be dealt with harshly. I consider plagiarism to be the unattributed use of an external source (e.g., another student, a web site, a book) in work for which a student takes credit, or the inappropriate use of an external source whether or not attribution is made. The seriousness of the offence depends on the extent to which the student relied upon the external source. Assignments and midterms will include an "honour code" statement which you will be required to sign, specifying forms of collaboration and reference to non-course materials that are acceptable. For projects, you must cite all external sources that you use, and the vast majority of the project must be written in your own words. Any text that you take verbatim from another source must be in quotation marks and followed by a citation.
Warning: I reserve the right to make changes to the exact percentage breakdowns shown here. However, the following grading scheme should be approximately accurate, and indicates the components of the class upon which you will be graded.
Assignments (three or four) | 20 % |
Test 1 (probably in-class) | 20 % |
Test 2 (probably take-home) | 20 % |
Project outline | 7 % |
Project writeup | 20 % (10% instructor; 10% peer) + up to 2 bonus marks |
Peer Review of Other Students' Final Project Papers | 3 % |
Participation in Discussions; Attendance | 10 % |
Curving Grades and Peer Review: Final grades will be curved to give the overall distribution of grades a desired mean and standard deviation. Bonus marks will be applied after grades are curved. Peer review is an important component of the class, and will be taken into account when evaluating papers. Since this is a Multiagent Systems course, a grading scheme has been constructed that does not provide students with any ability to influence their own grades by reviewing other students strategically. The curve for a given student x will be calculated disregarding x's presentation and paper reviews of other students.
Assignments: The course will include three or four assignments. Dates on which assignments will become available and due dates are given in the schedule below; assignments are always due at the beginning of class. Assignments will probably not be weighted equally: weighting will be proportional to the total number of available points. In particular, the last assignment may be weighted substantially more heavily since it will cover material not reviewed on the midterm exam. Students will be given three late days for use on the assignments. These are intended to help avoid scheduling conflicts with other courses, personal commitments, and emergencies. Therefore, no additional late days will be granted except under truly exceptional circumstances. Late assignments will be penalized at 20% per day.
- submit a one-page outline of the paper you intend to write to the instructor
- hand in the paper itself, which will be sent out to other students for peer review
- perform peer review of papers from other students in the class
The topic of the final project need not be too ambitious; it's fine to perform a survey of a subarea in Multiagent Systems or a compare-and-contrast study of two or more influential papers. (Note, however, that even if you perform a survey, your project must be written entirely in your own words, and must do more than simply reiterate content from the papers you survey.) If you plan to do more work in the area, you can also use the project to develop your own research ideas. In future weeks a list of possible topics will appear in this space. Please note that assignment late days cannot be applied to the final project.
Your project should be written using the LaTeX document preparation system, which is the standard for writing research papers in computer science. Please use the "article" class file with standard margins; in this style, your project should be between 6-10 pages, not including your bibliography.
- Y. Shoham and K. Leyton-Brown, Multiagent Systems: Algorithmic, Game-Theoretic, and Logical Foundations, Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Another good general text for exploring more advanced material in the research area, written largely from a CS theory perspective, is the following edited volume:
- N. Nisan, T. Roughgarden, E. Tardos, and V. Vazirani (Eds.), Algorithmic Game Theory, Cambridge University Press, 2007.
If you'd like to do additional reading on Game Theory, I recommend the following supplemental books:
- D. Fudenberg and Tirole, Game Theory, MIT Press, 1991;
- M. Osborne and A. Rubinstein, A Course in Game Theory, MIT Press, 1994.
- J. Nocedal and S. Wright, Numerical Optimization, Springer, 1984.
- V. Krishna, Auction Theory, Elsevier, 2002.
Slides from each lecture may be accessed by clicking on the links under "lecture topic"; applicable section numbers from the textbook are also given. Slides will not necessarily be available in advance; however, last year's slides can be accessed from last year's course webpage. Assignment and project due dates will be added throughout the term.
Date | Lecture Topic (textbook sections) | Milestones |
January 13 | Introduction (§ Introduction) | |
January 15 | Utility Theory (§ 3.1) | |
January 20 | Game Theory Intro (§ 3.2) | |
January 22 | From Optimality to Equilibrium (§ 3.2 - 3.3) | |
January 27 | Maxmin; Computing Maxmin (§ 3.3 - 3.4.1, 4.1, 4.4, Appendix B) | |
January 29 | Domination; Computing Domination (§ 3.4.3 - 3.4.4, 4.5) | Assignment 1 out |
February 3 | Correlated Equilibrium; Computing CE (§ 3.4.5, 4.6) | |
February 5 | Perfect-Information Extensive-Form Games (§ 5.1) | |
February 10 | Imperfect Information Extensive-form Games (§ 5.2) | Assignment 1 due |
February 12 | Repeated Games; The Folk Theorem; Stochastic Games (§ 6.1, 6.2) | |
February 24 | Midterm exam | |
February 26 | Bayesian games (§ 6.3) | |
March 3 | Social choice (§ 9.1 - 9.3) | |
March 5 | Arrow's Impossibility Theorem (§ 9.4) | Assignment 2 out |
March 10 | Mechanism Design Intro (§ 9.5 - 10.1) | |
March 12 | Revelation Principle; Quasilinear Utility (§ 10.2 - 10.3.1) | Project outline due |
March 17 | Quasilinear Mechanism Design; Groves Mechanisms (§ 10.3.2 - 10.4.1) | |
March 19 | The VCG Mechanism (§ 10.4.2 - 10.4.4) | Assignment 2 due |
March 24 | Advanced Mechanism Design (§ 10.4.5 - 10.7) | |
March 26 | Single-Good Auctions (§ 11.1 - 11.1.3) | Assignment 3 out |
March 31 | Revenue Equivalence (§ 11.1.4 - 11.5) | |
April 2 | Advanced Single-Good Auctions (§ 11.1.6 - 11.1.10) | |
April 7 | Multiunit Auctions (§ 11.2) | |
April 9 | Combinatorial Auctions (§ 11.3) | Assignment 3 due |
- Final Take-Home Exam: Mon., Apr 13 noon -- Wed., Apr 15 1 PM
- Project Deadline: Wed., Apr 22nd, 11:59:59 PM
- Projects:
- Project grading scheme
- Project Reviews Due: Tues., Apr. 28th 11:59:59 PM (late days eligible)