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Optimal Economic Design through Deep Learning
David Parkes

Fri Dec 08 04:30 PM -- 04:45 PM (PST) @ None

Designing an auction that maximizes expected revenue is an intricate task. Despite major efforts, only the single-item case is fully understood. We explore the use of tools from deep learning on this topic. The design objective is revenue optimal, dominant-strategy incentive compatible auctions. For a baseline, we show that multi-layer neural networks can learn almost-optimal auctions for a variety of settings for which there are analytical solutions, and even without encoding characterization results into the design of the network. Looking ahead, deep learning has promise for deriving auctions with high revenue for poorly understood problems.

Paul Duetting, Zhe Feng, Harikrishna Narasimhan, and David Parkes

Author Information

David Parkes (Harvard University)

David C. Parkes is Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. He was the recipient of the NSF Career Award, the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, the Thouron Scholarship and the Harvard University Roslyn Abramson Award for Teaching. Parkes received his Ph.D. degree in Computer and Information Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001, and an M.Eng. (First class) in Engineering and Computing Science from Oxford University in 1995. At Harvard, Parkes leads the EconCS group and teaches classes in artificial intelligence, optimization, and topics at the intersection between computer science and economics. Parkes has served as Program Chair of ACM EC’07 and AAMAS’08 and General Chair of ACM EC’10, served on the editorial board of Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, and currently serves as Editor of Games and Economic Behavior and on the boards of Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multi-agent Systems and INFORMS Journal of Computing. His research interests include computational mechanism design, electronic commerce, stochastic optimization, preference elicitation, market design, bounded rationality, computational social choice, networks and incentives, multi-agent systems, crowd-sourcing and social computing.

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