Theory Lunch Seminar

Wednesday, January 19, 2022 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Virtual Presentation - ET Remote Access - Zoom


DIVYARTHI MOHAN, Postdoctoral FellowSchool of Computer ScienceTel Aviv University

Simplicity and Optimality in Multi-Item Auctions

Designing mechanisms to maximize revenue is a fundamental problem in mathematical economics and has various applications like online ad auctions and spectrum auctions. Unfortunately, optimal auctions for selling multiple items can be unreasonably complex and computationally intractable. In this talk, we consider a revenue-maximizing seller with n items facing a single unit-demand buyer. Our work shows that simple mechanisms can achieve almost optimal revenue. We approached the tradeoffs of simplicity formally through the lens of computation and menu size. Our main result provides a mechanism that gets a (1 − ε)-approximation to the optimal revenue in time quasi-polynomial in n and has quasi polynomial (symmetric) menu complexity.   Joint work with Pravesh Kothari, Ariel Schvartzman, Sahil Singla, and Matt Weinberg. Zoom Participation. See announcement. CMU Theory YouTube Channel

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