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MSc Programme ``Applied Computing Science" 2009-2010

Seminar: Algorithms, Games and the Internet (MSAGI)


Course overview

Many internet applications involve (large) pools of users which all strive for their share in the available services or resources, on their own or as groups. What mechanisms can be used to achieve this in a reasonable manner? Some ten years ago it became clear that these situations, well-known in classical game theory, can indeed be attacked algorithmically, with a host of possible assumptions about how the parties cooperate and the desired economics of the game. Can one always find algorithmic mechanisms that are viable, from a practical viewpoint? This unique blend of game theory and algorithm design is now one of the most exciting research domains in computer science, with companies like Google and Yahoo depending on the novel mechanisms that are developed. In the seminar we will explore the beautiful techniques that are at the basis of the field, aiming to eventually understand some of the concrete algorithmic methods as applied by some of the big information companies on the web.

Class schedule


The seminar is part of the MSc program `Applied Computing Science' and is to be taken after you have completed at least several of the regular courses in the program. If you have not, see your MSc-program advisor: you may not be admissable to this seminar yet. (The seminar will be self-contained, but some basics also occur in the course on Multi-Agent Systems. No prerequisites from this course are needed, but please inform the instructor if you have taken this course.)


The seminar is based on the book The book is required and should be at your disposal at the start of the seminar, to study the weekly readings from the very beginning. (The book can be previewed for free here.) We will treat a selection of chapters from this book. Additional material will be listed in the weekschedule as the seminar develops.

Course Work


The grade depends on the given presentations (50%), summary reports (30%) and active participation (20%).


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Last modified: April 24, 2010