601.436/636 Algorithmic Game Theory - Spring 2018

Instructor: Michael Dinitz
Lecture: T Th 3:00 - 4:15 pm, Gilman 132
Office Hours: Tuesday 9:30 - 10:30am, and by appointment


Course Description: This course provides an introduction to algorithmic game theory: the study of games from the perspective of algorithms and theoretical computer science. There will be a particular focus on games that arise naturally from economic interactions involving computer systems (such as economic interactions between large-scale networks, online advertising markets, etc.), but there will also be broad coverage of games and mechanisms of all sorts. Topics covered will include a) complexity of computing equilibria and algorithms for doing so, b) (in)efficiency of equilibria, and c) algorithmic mechanism design. Students may receive credit for 600.473 or 600.673, but not both. Pre-req: 600.363/463 or permission.

Textbook: Algorithmic Game Theory, Nisan, Roughgarden, Tardos, and Vazirani, Cambridge University Press, 2007. username: agt1user, password: camb2agt.


The following is a tentative schedule. As the class proceeds, there will likely be changes and modifications.

Date Topic Reference Notes
 Jan 30   Introduction. What is AGT? Basic Game Theory   Chapter 1, Lecture notes from Stanford    
 Feb 1   Two-Player Zero-sum Games   Chapters 1.4.2, 3.1, 3.2 
 Feb 6   Algorithms for Two-Player Games   Chapters 2.3, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4    
 Feb 7   Hardness of Computing Nash: PPAD   Chapters 2.1 - 2.6, Lecture Notes from Stanford 
 Feb 13    Potential Games and PNE; Hierarchy of Equilibria   Chapters 1.3, 19.3.1, 19.3.2    
 Feb 15   No-Regret and Coarse Correlated Equilibria   Chapters 4.1-4.4, Lecture Notes from Stanford  HW1 released
 Feb 20   No-Regret and Coarse Correlated Equilibria (continued)   Chapters 4.1-4.4, Lecture Notes from Stanford    


Please submit homeworks using Gradescope.

Additional Resources

Some texts that are related to topics we will cover. They are useful for further study in this field. Similar courses with nice notes.