Jin Akiyama (Tokyo University of Science), Reversible Figures and Solids

An example of reversible (or hinge inside-out transformable) figures is Dudeney's Haberdasher's puzzle in which an equilateral triangle is dissected into four pieces, hinged like a chain, and then is transformed into a square by rotating the hinged pieces. Furthermore, the entire boundary of each figure goes into the inside of the other figure and becomes the dissection lines of the figure. Many intriguing results on reversibilities of figures have been found in the preceding research, but most of them are results on polygons. We generalize those results to general connected figures. It is shown that two nets obtained by cutting the surface of an arbitrary convex polyhedron along non-interesting dissection trees are reversible. Moreover, we generalize reversibility for 2D-figures to one for 3D-solids.

Joint work with Jin Akiyama (Tokyo University of Science).

Allan Borodin (University of Toronto), Simplicity Is in Vogue (again)

Throughout history there has been an appreciation of the importance of simplicity in the arts and sciences. In the context of algorithm design, and in particular in apprxoximation algorithms and algorithmic game theory, the importance of simplicity is currently very much in vogue. I will present some examples of the current interest in the design of “simple algorithms”. And what is a simple algorithm? Is it just “you'll know it when you see it”, or can we benefit from some precise models in various contexts?

José Correa (Universidad de Chile), Subgame Perfect Equilibrium: Computation and Efficiency
The concept of Subgame Perfect Equilibrium (SPE) naturally arises in games which are played sequentially. In a simultaneous game the natural solution concept is that of a Nash equilibrium in which no players has an incentive to unilaterally deviate from her current strategy. However, if the game is played sequentially, i.e., there is a prescribed order in which the players make their moves, an SPE is a situation in which all players anticipate the full strategy of all other players contingent on the decisions of previous players. Although most research in algorithmic game theory has been devoted to understand properties of Nash equilibria including its computation and the so-called price of anarchy in recent years there has been an interest in understanding the computational properties of SPE and its corresponding efficiency measure, the sequential price of anarchy.

In this talk we will review some of these recent results putting particular emphasis on a very basic game, namely that of atomic selfish routing in a network. In particular we will discuss some hardness results such as the PSPACE-completeness of computing an SPE and its NP-hardness even when the number of players fixed to two. We will also see that for interesting classes of games SPE avoid worst case Nash equilibria, resulting in substantial improvements for the price of anarchy. However, for the atomic network routing games with linear latencies, where the price of anarchy has long been known to be equal to \(5/2\), we prove that the sequential price of arachy is not bounded by any constant and can be as large as \(\Omega(\sqrt{n})\), with \(n\) being the number of players.

Alan Frieze (Carnegie Mellon University), Buying Stuff Online
Suppose there is a collection \(x_1, x_2, \ldots, x_N\) of independent uniform \([0, 1]\) random variables, and a hypergraph \(F\) of target structures on the vertex set \(\{1, \ldots, N\}\). We would like to buy a target structure at small cost, but we do not know all the costs \(x_i\) ahead of time. Instead, we inspect the random variables \(x_i\) one at a time, and after each inspection, choose to either keep the vertex \(i\) at cost \(x_i\), or reject vertex \(i\) forever.

In the present paper, we consider the case where \(\{1, \ldots, N\}\) is the edge-set of some graph, and the target structures are the spanning trees of a graph; the spanning arborescences of a digraph; the Hamilton cycles of a graph; the prefect matchings of a graph; the paths between a fixed pair of vertices; or the cliques of some fixed size.

Joint work with Wesley Pegden (CMU).

Héctor García-Molina (Stanford University), Data Crowdsourcing: Is It for Real?
Crowdsourcing refers to performing a task using human workers that solve sub-problems that arise in the task. In this talk I will give an overview of crowdsourcing, focusing on how crowdsourcing can help traditional data processing and analysis tasks. I will also give a brief overview of some of the crowdsourcing research we have done at the Stanford University InfoLab.

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