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CS 712: Selected Areas of Mechanism Design

Units: 3-0-0-0 (9)

Familiarity with formal mathematical reasoning, probability theory, calculus, basics of computational complexity, and computer programming. The course also expects familiarity with game theoretic ideas and results – hence a course like CS711 or CS656 will be required.



This course is based on selected topics in mechanism design. These topics include stable matching, Internet advertising, sponsored-search auctions, selfish routing, games on networks, potential games. This is a research-oriented course, hence students are expected to read and present cutting-edge research topics in this area, and also develop writing skills towards a formal technical report.

The tentative plan of coverage is as follows.

Part 1:

  1. Mechanism design theory – quick recap
  2. Stable matching theory
  3. Quasi-linear domain
    1. Internet advertising
    2. Auctions
    3. Single-parameter domains
  4. Fair division
  5. Algorithmic aspects of mechanism design
  6. Network games

Part 2: Selected papers from leading conferences and journals on the topics that deal with research in mechanismdesign in the paradigm of artificial intelligence and multi-agent systems.


No specific textbook. The references and lecture notes of CS711 will be useful for the basics of mechanism design. Selected chapters from books and lecture notes may be useful which will be made available during the course. Some examples include:

  1. Martin Osborne and Ariel Rubinstein: A course in game theory
  2. Tim Roughgarden – lecture notes on algorithmic game theory and combinatorial auctions
  3. Andreu Mas-Colell, Michael Whinston, and Jerry Green: Microeconomic Theory
  4. Vijay Krishna – Auction Theory.
  5. Debasis Mishra
    1. Game Theory course notes: http://www.isid.ac.in/~dmishra/gm1doc/notes_2016.pdf
    2. Mechanism Design course notes: http://www.isid.ac.in/~dmishra/gmdoc/mdnotes.pdf
  6. Papers from conferences, e.g., (but not limited to) EC, WINE, AAAI, IJCAI, AAMAS, and journals, e.g., Econometrica, Journal of Economic Theory, Games and Economic Behavior etc.