Lecture: Economics and Computation (Fall 2018)
|Teaching Assistants:||Vitor Bosshard, Ludwig Dierks, Stefania Ionescu, Nils Olberg, Jakob Weissteiner|
|Academic Semester||Fall 2018|
|Time and Location||
Lecture: Wednesday 12:15-13:45
Building: BIN, Room: BIN-2.A.10
Exercise Session: Thursday 12:15-13:45
Building BIN, Room: BIN-1.D.29
|AP (ECTS):||6 (including a mark)|
|Office Hours||Steffen Schuldenzucker: email for appointments, BIN-2.B.04|
- 13.08.2018: Lecture website goes live
In this course, we will cover the interplay between economic thinking and computational thinking as it relates to electronic commerce in particular, and socio-economic systems in general. Topics covered include: game theory, mechanism design, p2p file-sharing, eBay auctions, advertising auctions, combinatorial auctions, matching markets, computational social choice, and crowdsourcing markets. Emphasis will be given to core methodologies necessary to design such systems with good economic and computational properties. Students will be engaged in theoretical, computational, and empirical exercises.
Teaching Format and Setup
- This course will be structured differently from most courses at IfI: For each lecture, there will be lecture notes (approx. 15-20 pages per lecture) that students must read before class to learn the new material at their own pace.
- Students must answer 4-5 short comprehension questions before every class to show they have completed the readings.
- During class, we will not go over all of the material from the lecture notes. Instead, lectures will be interactive, illustrating the concepts from the lecture notes, and students are expected to participate during class discussions.
- Every week, there will be a section (exercise session) to practice the concepts learned in the lecture. Participation in the exercise sessions will be very helpful to deepen the understanding of the material and to prepare for solving the homework exercises. However, attendance during the exercise sessions in not mandatory and will not be graded.
- There will be approximately 3-4 theoretical/mathematical homework exercises to deepen the understanding of the theoretical content of the course.
- There will be approximately 3-4 programming exercises where students need to apply the concepts learned in class.
Students need to be proficient in math to solve the theoretical homework exercises, and they need to be able to program to solve the practical homework exercises. For BSc students, it is recommended (but not required) that they take the courses "Game Theory", "Foundations of Computing II" and "Introduction to Operations Research: Convex Optimization (Mathematics III)" before taking this course.
Recommended for all BSc and MSc students with an interest in topics at the intersection of economics and computer science.
- Understand the importance of economic thinking in computational domains, and of computational thinking in economic domains.
- Be able to develop applicable models of complex Internet systems.
- Be able to analyze the behavior of systems that include people, computational agents as well as firms, and involve strategic behavior.
- Be able to solve both mathematical and conceptual problems involving such systems.
- Be able to write programs that implement strategic agents and mechanisms.
Examination + Grading
Lectures (tentative schedule)
|Lecture||Date||Topic/Reading||Fun & Interesting|
|2||Wed, 26.9.2018||Game Theory (skip sections 2.5 and 2.6)||Game Theory,
Primates & Game Theory ,
Badminton & Game Theory (jump to 15:00) (explanation) ,
|3||Wed, 03.10.2018||The Economics of P2P File Sharing||Court...|
|4||Wed, 10.10.2018||Auction Theory and eBay (skip 6.4 and 6.5)||eBay|
|5||Wed, 17.10.2018||Mechanism Design Part 1 (read 7.1 and 7.2, rest optional)||Restaurant Pricing|
|6||Wed, 24.10.2018||Mechanism Design Part 2 (read 7.5 and 7.6, rest optional)|
|7||Wed, 31.10.2018||Online Advertising Auctions (skip 10.6)||Online Ads|
|8||Wed, 07.11.2018||Linear Programming (optional: 3.3 + 3.4)|
|9||Wed, 14.11.2018||Integer Programming (optional: 12.2, 12.4, 12.7, 12.8)|
|10||Wed, 21.11.2018||Combinatorial Auctions (optional 11.5 and 11.6)|
|11||Wed, 28.11.2018||Matching Markets
(optional 12.4.4 and 12.4.5 and 12.4.6)
|12||Wed, 05.12.2018||Computational Social Choice||Elections|
|Final Exam (room TBA)|
Exercise Sessions (tentative schedule)
|1||Thu, 20.09.2018||Math Refresher|
|2||Thu, 27.09.2018||Game Theory|
|3||Thu, 04.10.2018||Game Theory + P2P File Sharing|
|4||Thu, 11.10.2018||Auction Theory|
|5||Thu, 18.10.2018||Mechanism Design (Part 1)|
|6||Thu, 25.10.2018||Mechanism Design (Part 2)|
|7||Thu, 01.11.2018||Online Advertising Auctions|
|8||Thu, 08.11.2018||Linear Programming|
|9||Thu, 15.11.2018||Integer Programming|
|10||Thu, 22.11.2018||Combinatorial Auctions|
|11||Thu, 29.11.2018||Matching Markets|
|12||Thu, 06.12.2018||Computational Social Choice|
|13||Thu, 13.12.2018||Review/Practice Exam|
Homework Assignments (tentative schedule)
|Number||Out Date||Due Date||Topic|
|01||Wed, 26.9.2018||Wed, 10.10.2018, 12:15||Game Theory (Theory)|
|02||Wed, 10.10.2018||Wed, 17.10.2018, 12:15||Auction Theory (Theory)|
|03||Wed, 17.10.2018||Wed, 31.10.2018, 12:15||Mechanism Design (Theory)|
|04||Wed, 31.10.2018||Wed, 7.11.2018, 12:15||Advertising Auctions (Programming)|
|05(a)||Wed, 7.11.2018||Wed, 14.11.2018, 12:15||Linear Programming (Programming) [40%]|
|05(b)||Wed, 14.11.2018||Wed, 21.11.2018, 12:15||Integer Programming (Programming) [60%]|
|06||Wed, 21.11.2018||Wed, 28.11.2018, 12:15||Combinatorial Auctions (Theory/Programming)|
|07(a)||Wed, 28.11.2018||Wed, 5.12.2018, 12:15||Matching (Theory/Programming) [50%]|
Wed, 12.12.2018, 12:15
|Social Choice (Theory/Programming) [50%]|