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Distinguishing Distributions When Samples Are Strategically Transformed
Hanrui Zhang · Yu Cheng · Vincent Conitzer

Thu Dec 12 05:00 PM -- 07:00 PM (PST) @ East Exhibition Hall B + C #223

Often, a principal must make a decision based on data provided by an agent. Moreover, typically, that agent has an interest in the decision that is not perfectly aligned with that of the principal. Thus, the agent may have an incentive to select from or modify the samples he obtains before sending them to the principal. In other settings, the principal may not even be able to observe samples directly; instead, she must rely on signals that the agent is able to send based on the samples that he obtains, and he will choose these signals strategically.

In this paper, we give necessary and sufficient conditions for when the principal can distinguish between agents of good'' andbad'' types, when the type affects the distribution of samples that the agent has access to. We also study the computational complexity of checking these conditions. Finally, we study how many samples are needed.

Author Information

Hanrui Zhang (Duke University)
Yu Cheng (Duke University)
Vincent Conitzer (Duke University)

Vincent Conitzer is the Kimberly J. Jenkins University Professor of New Technologies and Professor of Computer Science, Professor of Economics, and Professor of Philosophy at Duke University. He received Ph.D. (2006) and M.S. (2003) degrees in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, and an A.B. (2001) degree in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University. Conitzer works on artificial intelligence (AI). Much of his work has focused on AI and game theory, for example designing algorithms for the optimal strategic placement of defensive resources. More recently, he has started to work on AI and ethics: how should we determine the objectives that AI systems pursue, when these objectives have complex effects on various stakeholders? Conitzer has received the Social Choice and Welfare Prize, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award, an NSF CAREER award, the inaugural Victor Lesser dissertation award, an honorable mention for the ACM dissertation award, and several awards for papers and service at the AAAI and AAMAS conferences. He has also been named a Guggenheim Fellow, a Sloan Fellow, a Kavli Fellow, a Bass Fellow, an ACM Fellow, a AAAI Fellow, and one of AI's Ten to Watch. He has served as program and/or general chair of the AAAI, AAMAS, AIES, COMSOC, and EC conferences. Conitzer and Preston McAfee were the founding Editors-in-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Economics and Computation (TEAC).

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