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On Bayes-Nash implementation of combinatorial auctions: structure and efficiency

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Abstract: An overview of the structure of Bayesian optimal auctions, along the lines of Myerson, but for discrete-valued valuations is given. A novel graphical construction of virtual valuations is provided. In the second part of the presentation, the problem of characterising revenue optimal auctions for single-minded buyers is discussed, meaning each buyer is interested only in a specific bundle of items and has a value for the same, and both the choice of bundle and the value are private information. The talk will also address the question of how efficient the revenue optimal auction is. (Based on joint work with Vineet Abhishek. Details can be found in two papers on 1005.1059 and 1005.1121.)

Biography: Bruce Hajek is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and in the Coordinated Science Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he has been since 1979. His research interests include communication and computer networks, stochastic systems, combinatorial and nonlinear optimization, and information theory. He served as Associate Editor for Communication Networks and Computer Networks for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, as Editor-in-Chief of the same Transactions, and as President of the IEEE Information Theory Society. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and he was a winner of the 1973 USA Mathematical Olympiad. He received the Eckman Award of the American Automatic Control Council, an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, an Outstanding Paper Award from the IEEE Control Systems Society, and the IEEE Kobayashi Computer Communications Award

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