Time+Place: Tuesday 06/01/2015 14:30 Room 337-8 Taub Bld.
Title: Uncertainty, Strategy, and Bounded Rationality
Speaker: Reshef Meir - CS-Lecture http://people.seas.harvard.edu/~rmeir/
Affiliation: Center for Research on Computation and Society (CRCS)
Host: Seffi Naor


In multi-agent interactions, each agent often faces uncertainty over the 
incentives and the behavior of the other agents. The traditional 
approach assumes that agents each maximize their expected utility w.r.t. 
some common prior distribution. However in most real-world scenarios 
agents have no way to accurately or even approximately know this 
distribution. Moreover, numerous psychological experiments have 
demonstrated that *people* fail even at fairly simple tasks involving 
probabilistic reasoning, and are prone to cognitive biases such as 
risk-aversion and loss-aversion.

I will describe an alternative, non-probabilistic, model for 
representing players' uncertainty in games, inspired by artificial 
intelligence and bounded rationality approaches.

While the model is quite general, I will demonstrate how it applies for 
preference aggregation mechanisms (voting), overcoming many shortcomings 
of previous theories. My main result is that the behavior of 
bounded-rational agents boils down to a simple and natural dynamics, 
which is guaranteed to converge to an equilibrium. Extensive simulations 
show that the resulting equilibria replicate known phenomena from 
real-world voting.

Finally, I will show how key components of this approach can be 
extracted and applied to very different settings, including online 
scheduling on Doodle and routing in networks with uncertain congestion.

The talk is based on published and unpublished work with Omer Lev, David 
Parkes, Jeffrey S. Rosenschein, and James Zou.

Short Bio:  
I am a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Research on 
Computation and Society (CRCS), on a two-year Rothschild fellowship. I 
have a B.Sc. in cognitive science, as well as a B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. 
in computer science, all from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, 
Israel. My main research areas are Computational Game Theory, Mechanism 
Design, Artificial Intelligence and Bounded Rationality.

My PhD thesis on mechanisms that promote stability and welfare has won 
the Schlomiuk prize for outstanding PhD thesis (Hebrew University), an 
honorable mention for Victor Lesser Distinguished Dissertation Award 
(IFAAMAS), and the Michael B. Maschler Prize (Game Theory Society).