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We introduce a class of extensive form games whereplayers might not be able to foresee the possible consequences of their decisions and form a model of theiropponents which they exploit to achieve a more profitable outcome. We improve upon existing models ofgames with limited foresight, endowing players with theability of higher order reasoning and proposing a novelsolution concept to address intuitions coming from realgame play. We analyse the resulting equilibria, devisingan effective procedure to compute them.

Over the past two decades, water markets have been successfully fielded in countries such as Australia, the United states, Chile, China, etc. Water users, mainly irrigators, have benefited immensely from water markets. However, the current water market design also faces certain serious barriers. It has been pointed out that transaction costs, which exists in most markets, induce great welfare loss. For example, for water markets in western China discussed in this paper, the influence of transaction costs is significant. Another important barrier is the locality of trades due to geographical constraints. Based on the water market at Xiying Irrigation, one of the most successful water market in western China, we model the water market as a graph with minimum transaction thresholds on edges. Our goal is to maximize the transaction volume or welfare. We prove that the existence of transaction costs results in no polynomial time approximation scheme (PTAS) to maximize social welfare (MAX SNP-hard). The complexities on special graphs are also presented. From a practical point of view, however, optimal social welfare can be obtained via a well-designed mixed integer linear program and can be approximated near optimally at a large scale via a heuristic algorithm. Both algorithms are tested on data sets generated from real historical trading data. Our study also suggests the importance of reducing transaction costs, for example, institutional costs in water market design. Our work opens a potentially important avenue of market design within the agenda of computational sustainability.

A paradigmatic problem in social choice theory deals with the aggregation of subjective preferences of individuals --- represented as rankings of alternatives --- into a social ranking. We are interested in settings where individuals are uncertain about their own preferences, and represent their uncertainty as distributions over rankings. Under the classic objective of minimizing the (expected) sum of Kendall tau distances between the input rankings and the output ranking, we establish that preference elicitation is surprisingly straightforward and near-optimal solutions can be obtained in polynomial time. We show, both in theory and using real data, that ignoring uncertainty altogether can lead to suboptimal outcomes.

We introduce a new family of judgment aggregation rules, called the binomial rules, designed to account for hidden dependencies between some of the issues being judged. To place them within the landscape of judgment aggregation rules, we analyse both their axiomatic properties and their computational complexity, and we show that they contain both the well-known distance-based rule and the basic rule returning the most frequent overall judgment as special cases. To evaluate the performance of our rules empirically, we apply them to a dataset of crowdsourced judgments regarding the quality of hotels extracted from the travel website TripAdvisor. In our experiments we distinguish between the full dataset and a subset of highly polarised judgments, and we develop a new notion of polarisation for profiles of judgments for this purpose, which may also be of independent interest.

We introduce a roommate market model, in which 2n people need to be assigned to n rooms, with two people in each room. Each person has a valuation to each room, as well as a valuation to each of other people as a roommate. Each room has a rent shared by the two people living in the room, and we need to decide who live together in which room and how much each should pay. Various solution concepts on stability and envy-freeness are proposed, with their existence studied and the computational complexity of the corresponding search problems analyzed. In particular, we show that maximizing the social welfare is NP-hard, and we give a polynomial time algorithm that achieves at least 2/3 of the maximum social welfare. Finally, we demonstrate a pricing scheme that can achieve envy-freeness for each room.

Spear-phishing attacks pose a serious threat to sensitive computer systems, since they sidestep technical security mechanisms by exploiting the carelessness of authorized users. A common way to mitigate such attacks is to use e-mail filters which block e-mails with a maliciousness score above a chosen threshold. Optimal choice of such a threshold involves a tradeoff between the risk from delivered malicious emails and the cost of blocking benign traffic. A further complicating factor is the strategic nature of an attacker, who may selectively target users offering the best value in terms of likelihood of success and resulting access privileges. Previous work on strategic threshold-selection considered a single organization choosing thresholds for all users. In reality, many organizations are potential targets of such attacks, and their incentives need not be well aligned. We therefore consider the problem of strategic threshold-selection by a collection of independent self-interested users. We characterize both Stackelberg multi-defender equilibria, corresponding to short-term strategic dynamics, as well as Nash equilibria of the simultaneous game between all users and the attacker, modeling long-term dynamics, and exhibit a polynomial-time algorithm for computing short-term (Stackelberg) equilibria. We find that while Stackelberg multi-defender equilibrium need not exist, Nash equilibrium always exists, and remarkably, both equilibria are unique and socially optimal.

Evolutionary game theory provides the principal tools to model the dynamics of multi-agent learning algorithms. While there is a long-standing literature on evolutionary game theory in strategic-form games, in the case of extensive-form games few results are known and the exponential size of the representations currently adopted makes the evolutionary analysis of such games unaffordable. In this paper, we focus on dynamics for the sequence form of extensive-form games, providing three dynamics: one realization equivalent to the normal-form logit dynamic, one realization equivalent to the agent-form replicator dynamic, and one realization equivalent to the agent-form logit dynamic. All the considered dynamics require polynomial time and space, providing an exponential compression w.r.t. the dynamics currently known and providing thus tools that can be effectively employed in practice. Moreover, we use our tools to compare the agent-form and normal-form dynamics and to provide new "hybrid" dynamics.

Motivated by a number of security applications, among which border patrolling, we study, to the best of our knowledge, the first Security Game model in which patrolling strategies need to be combined with responses to signals raised by an alarm system, which is spatially uncertain (i.e., it is uncertain over the exact location the attack is ongoing) and is affected by false negatives (i.e., the missed detection rate of an attack may be positive). Ours is an infinite-horizon patrolling scenario on a graph, where a single patroller moves. We study the properties of the game model in terms of computational issues and form of the optimal strategies and we provide an approach to solve it. Finally, we provide an experimental analysis of our techniques.

An effective way of preventing attacks in secure areas is to screen for threats (people, objects) before entry, e.g., screening of airport passengers. However, screening every entity at the same level may be both ineffective and undesirable. The challenge then is to find a dynamic approach for randomized screening, allowing for more effective use of limited screening resources, leading to improved security. We address this challenge with the following contributions: (1) a threat screening game (TSG) model for general screening domains; (2) an NP-hardness proof for computing the optimal strategy of TSGs; (3) a scheme for decomposing TSGs into subgames to improve scalability; (4) a novel algorithm that exploits a compact game representation to efficiently solve TSGs, providing the optimal solution under certain conditions; and (5) an empirical comparison of our proposed algorithm against the current state-of-the-art optimal approach for large-scale game-theoretic resource allocation problems.

We consider the following problem in which a given number of items has to be chosen from a predefined set. Each item is described by a vector of attributes and for each attribute there is a desired distribution that the selected set should fit. We look for a set that fits as much as possible the desired distributions on all attributes. Examples of applications include choosing members of a representative committee, where candidates are described by attributes such as sex, age and profession, and where we look for a committee that for each attribute offers a certain representation, i.e., a single committee that contains a certain number of young and old people, certain number of men and women, certain number of people with different professions, etc. With a single attribute the problem boils down to the apportionment problem for party-list proportional representation systems (in such case the value of the single attribute is the political affiliation of a candidate). We study some properties of the associated subset selection rules, and address their computation.

Real-time bidding has become one of the largest online advertising markets in the world. Today the bid price per ad impression is typically decided by the expected value of how it can lead to a desired action event to the advertiser. However, this industry standard approach to decide the bid price does not consider the actual effect of the ad shown to the user, which should be measured based on the performance lift among users who have been or have not been exposed to a certain treatment of ads. In this paper, we propose a new bidding strategy and prove that if the bid price is decided based on the performance lift rather than absolute performance value, advertisers can actually gain more action events. We describe the modeling methodology to predict the performance lift and demonstrate the actual performance gain through blind A/B test with real ad campaigns. We also show that to move the demand-side platforms to bid based on performance lift, they should be rewarded based on the relative performance lift they contribute.

Understanding when and how computational complexity can be used to protect elections against different manipulative actions has been a highly active research area over the past two decades. A recent body of work, however, has shown that many of the NP-hardness shields, previously obtained, vanish when the electorate has single-peaked or nearly single-peaked preferences. In light of these results, we investigate whether it is possible to reimpose NP-hardness shields for such electorates by allowing the voters to specify partial preferences instead of insisting they cast complete ballots. In particular, we show that in single-peaked and nearly single-peaked electorates, if voters are allowed to submit top-truncated ballots, then the complexity of manipulation and bribery for many voting rules increases from being in P to being NP-complete.

We study efficient algorithms for a natural learning problem in markets. There is one seller with m divisible goods and n buyers with unknown individual utility functions and budgets of money. The seller can repeatedly announce prices and observe aggregate demand bundles requested by the buyers. The goal of the seller is to learn the utility functions and budgets of the buyers. Our scenario falls into the classic domain of ''revealed preference'' analysis. Problems with revealed preference have recently started to attract increased interest in computer science due to their fundamental nature in understanding customer behavior in electronic markets. The goal of revealed preference analysis is to observe rational agent behavior, to explain it using a suitable model for the utility functions, and to predict future agent behavior. Our results are the first polynomial-time algorithms to learn utility and budget parameters via revealed preference queries in classic Fisher markets with multiple buyers. Our analysis concentrates on linear, CES, and Leontief markets, which are the most prominent classes studied in the literature. Some of our results extend to general Arrow-Debreu exchange markets.

In recent years, terrorist organizations (e.g., ISIS or al-Qaeda) are increasingly directing terrorists to launch coordinated attacks in their home countries. One example is the Paris shootings on January 7, 2015.By monitoring potential terrorists, security agencies are able to detect and stop terrorist plots at their planning stage.Although security agencies may have knowledge about potential terrorists (e.g., who they are, how they interact), they usually have limited resources and cannot monitor all terrorists.Moreover, a terrorist planner may strategically choose to arouse terrorists considering the security agency's monitoring strategy. This paper makes five key contributions toward the challenging problem of computing optimal monitoring strategies: 1) A new Stackelberg game model for terrorist plot detection;2) A modified double oracle framework for computing the optimal strategy effectively;3) Complexity results for both defender and attacker oracle problems;4) Novel mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) formulations for best response problems of both players;and 5) Effective approximation algorithms for generating suboptimal responses for both players.Experimental evaluation shows that our approach can obtain a robust enough solution outperforming widely-used centrality based heuristics significantly and scale up to realistic-sized problems.

This paper considers a mechanism design problem for locating two identical facilities on an interval, in which an agent can pretend to be multiple agents. A mechanism selects a pair of locations on the interval according to the declared single-peaked preferences of agents. An agent's utility is determined by the location of the better one (typically the closer to her ideal point). This model can represent various application domains. For example, assume a company is going to release two models of its product line and performs a questionnaire survey in an online forum to determine their detailed specs. Typically, a customer will buy only one model, but she can answer multiple times by logging onto the forum under several email accounts. We first characterize possible outcomes of mechanisms that satisfy false-name-proofness, as well as some mild conditions. By extending the result, we completely characterize the class of false-name-proof mechanisms when locating two facilities on a circle. We then clarify the approximation ratios of the false-name-proof mechanisms on a line metric for the social and maximum costs.

Highly targeted spear phishing attacks are increasingly common, and have been implicated in many major security breeches. Email filtering systems are the first line of defense against such attacks. These filters are typically configured with uniform thresholds for deciding whether or not to allow a message to be delivered to a user. However, users have very significant differences in both their susceptibility to phishing attacks as well as their access to critical information and credentials that can cause damage. Recent work has considered setting personalized thresholds for individual users based on a Stackelberg game model. We consider two important extensions of the previous model. First, in our model user values can be substitutable, modeling cases where multiple users provide access to the same information or credential. Second, we consider attackers who make sequential attack plans based on the outcome of previous attacks. Our analysis starts from scenarios where there is only one credential and then extends to more general scenarios with multiple credentials. For single-credential scenarios, we demonstrate that the optimal defense strategy can be found by solving a binary combinatorial optimization problem called PEDS. For multiple-credential scenarios, we formulate it as a bilevel optimization problem for finding the optimal defense strategy and then reduce it to a single level optimization problem called PEMS using complementary slackness conditions. Experimental results show that both PEDS and PEMS lead to significant higher defender utilities than two existing benchmarks in different parameter settings. Also, both PEDS and PEMS are more robust than the existing benchmarks considering uncertainties.

We characterize the class of committee scoring rules that satisfy the fixed-majority criterion. In some sense, the committee scoring rules in this class are multiwinner analogues of the single-winner Plurality rule, which is uniquely characterized as the only single-winner scoring rule that satisfies the simple majority criterion. We find that, for most of the rules in our new class, the complexity of winner determination is high (i.e., the problem of computing the winners is NP-hard), but we also show some examples of polynomial-time winner determination procedures, exact and approximate.

We study the Maximum Weighted Matching problem in a partial information setting where the agents' utilities for being matched to other agents are hidden and the mechanism only has access to ordinal preference information. Our model is motivated by the fact that in many settings, agents cannot express the numerical values of their utility for different outcomes, but are still able to rank the outcomes in their order of preference. Specifically, we study problems where the ground truth exists in the form of a weighted graph, and look to design algorithms that approximate the true optimum matching using only the preference orderings for each agent (induced by the hidden weights) as input. If no restrictions are placed on the weights, then one cannot hope to do better than the simple greedy algorithm, which yields a half optimal matching. Perhaps surprisingly, we show that by imposing a little structure on the weights, we can improve upon the trivial algorithm significantly: we design a 1.6-approximation algorithm for instances where the hidden weights obey the metric inequality. Our algorithm is obtained using a simple but powerful framework that allows us to combine greedy and random techniques in unconventional ways. These results are the first non-trivial ordinal approximation algorithms for such problems, and indicate that we can design robust matchings even when we are agnostic to the precise agent utilities.

The leading approach to solving large imperfect information games is to pre-calculate an approximate solution using a simplified abstraction of the full game; that solution is then used to play the original, full-scale game. The abstraction step is necessitated by the size of the game tree. However, as the original game progresses, the remaining portion of the tree (the subgame) becomes smaller. An appealing idea is to use the simplified abstraction to play the early parts of the game and then, once the subgame becomes tractable, to calculate a solution using a finer-grained abstraction in real time, creating a combined final strategy. While this approach is straightforward for perfect information games, it is a much more complex problem for imperfect information games. If the subgame is solved locally, the opponent can alter his play in prior to this subgame to exploit our combined strategy. To prevent this, we introduce the notion of subgame margin, a simple value with appealing properties. If any best response reaches the subgame, the improvement of exploitability of the combined strategy is (at least) proportional to the subgame margin. This motivates subgame refinements resulting in large positive margins. Unfortunately, current techniques either neglect subgame margin (potentially leading to a large negative subgame margin and drastically more exploitable strategies), or guarantee only non-negative subgame margin (possibly producing the original, unrefined strategy, even if much stronger strategies are possible). Our technique remedies this problem by maximizing the subgame margin and is guaranteed to find the optimal solution. We evaluate our technique using one of the top participants of the AAAI-14 Computer Poker Competition, the leading playground for agents in imperfect information setting

Certain real-life networks have a community structure in which communities overlap. For example, a typical bus network includes bus stops (nodes), which belong to one or more bus lines (communities) that often overlap. Clearly, it is important to take this information into account when measuring the centrality of a bus stop - how important it is to the functioning of the network. For example, if a certain stop becomes inaccessible, the impact will depend in part on the bus lines that visit it. However, existing centrality measures do not take such information into account. Our aim is to bridge this gap. We begin by developing a new game-theoretic solution concept, which we call the Configuration semivalue, in order to have greater flexibility in modelling the community structure compared to previous solution concepts from cooperative game theory. We then use the new concept as a building block to construct the first extension of Closeness centrality to networks with community structure (overlapping or otherwise). Despite the computational complexity inherited from the Configuration semivalue, we show that the corresponding extension of Closeness centrality can be computed in polynomial time. We empirically evaluate this measure and our algorithm that computes it by analysing the Warsaw public transportation network.

The design of the best economic mechanism for Sponsored Search Auctions (SSAs) is a central task in computational mechanism design/game theory. Two open questions concern (i) the adoption of user models more accurate than the currently used one and (ii) the choice between Generalized Second Price auction (GSP) and Vickrey–Clark–Groves mechanism (VCG). In this paper, we provide some contributions to answer these questions. We study Price of Anarchy (PoA) and Price of Stability (PoS) over social welfare and auctioneer’s revenue of GSP w.r.t. the VCG when the users follow the famous cascade model. Furthermore, we provide exact, randomized, and approximate algorithms, showing that in real–world settings (Yahoo! Webscope A3 dataset, 10 available slots) optimal allocations can be found in less than 1s with up to 1,000 ads, and can be approximated in less than 20ms even with more than 1,000 ads with an average accuracy greater than 99%.

We study the problem of computing Nash equilibria of zero-sum games.Many natural zero-sum games have exponentially many strategies, but highly structured payoffs. For example, in the well-studied Colonel Blotto game (introduced by Borel in 1921), players must divide a pool of troops among a set of battlefields with the goal of winning (i.e., having more troops in) a majority. The Colonel Blotto game is commonly used for analyzing a wide range of applications from the U.S presidential election, to innovative technology competitions, toadvertisement, to sports.However, because of the size of the strategy space, standard methods for computing equilibria of zero-sum games fail to be computationally feasible.Indeed, despite its importance, only few solutions for special variants of the problem are known. In this paper we show how to compute equilibria of Colonel Blotto games. Moreover, our approach takes the form of a general reduction: to find a Nash equilibrium of a zero-sum game, it suffices to design a separation oracle for the strategy polytope of any bilinear game that is payoff-equivalent. We then apply this technique to obtain the first polytime algorithms for a variety of games. In addition to Colonel Blotto, we also show how to compute equilibria in an infinite-strategy variant called the General Lotto game; this involves showing how to prune the strategy space to a finite subset before applying our reduction. We also consider the class of dueling games, first introduced by Immorlica et al. (2011). We show that our approach provably extends the class of dueling games for which equilibria can be computed: we introduce a new dueling game, the matching duel, on which prior methods fail to be computationally feasible but upon which our reduction can be applied.

A single-elimination (SE) tournament is a popular way to select a winner in both sports competitions and in elections. A natural and well-studied question is the tournament fixing problem (TFP): given the set of all pairwise match outcomes, can a tournament organizer rig an SE tournament by adjusting the initial seeding so that their favorite player wins? We prove new sufficient conditions on the pairwise match outcome information and the favorite player, under which there is guaranteed to be a seeding where the player wins the tournament. Our results greatly generalize previous results. We also investigate the relationship between the set of players that can win an SE tournament under some seeding (so called SE winners) and other traditional tournament solutions. In addition, we generalize and strengthen prior work on probabilistic models for generating tournaments. For instance, we show that every player in an n player tournament generated by the Condorcet Random Model will be an SE winner even when the noise is as small as possible, p = Θ(ln n/n); prior work only had such results for p ≥ Ω( ln n/n). We also establish new results for significantly more general generative models.

We study an important crowdsourcing setting where agents evaluate one another and, based on these evaluations, a subset of agents are selected. This setting is ubiquitous when peer review is used for distributing awards in a team, allocating funding to scientists, and selecting publications for conferences. The fundamental challenge when applying crowdsourcing in these settings is that agents may misreport their reviews of others to increase their chances of being selected. We propose a new strategyproof (impartial) mechanism called Dollar Partition that satisfies desirable axiomatic properties. We then show, using a detailed experiment with parameter values derived from target real world domains, that our mechanism performs better on average, and in the worst case, than other strategyproof mechanisms in the literature.

mCP-nets are an expressive and intuitive formalism based on CP-nets to reason about preferences of groups of agents. The dominance semantics of mCP-nets is based on the concept of voting, and different voting schemes give rise to different dominance semantics for the group. Unlike CP-nets, which received an extensive complexity analysis, mCP-nets, as reported multiple times in the literature, lack a precise study of the voting tasks' complexity. Prior to this work, only a complexity analysis of brute-force algorithms for these tasks was available, and this analysis only gave EXPTIME upper bounds for most of those problems. In this paper, we start to fill this gap by carrying out a precise computational complexity analysis of voting tasks on acyclic binary polynomially connected mCP-nets whose constituents are standard CP-nets. Interestingly, all these problems actually belong to various levels of the polynomial hierarchy, and some of them even belong to PTIME or LOGSPACE. Furthermore, for most of these problems, we provide completeness results, which show tight lower bounds for problems that (up to date) did not have any explicit non-obvious lower bound.