Conitzer, Vincent


Adapting a Kidney Exchange Algorithm to Align With Human Values

AAAI Conferences

The efficient allocation of limited resources is a classical problem in economics and computer science. In kidney exchanges, a central market maker allocates living kidney donors to patients in need of an organ. Patients and donors in kidney exchanges are prioritized using ad-hoc weights decided on by committee and then fed into an allocation algorithm that determines who get what—and who does not. In this paper, we provide an end-to-end methodology for estimating weights of individual participant profiles in a kidney exchange. We first elicit from human subjects a list of patient attributes they consider acceptable for the purpose of prioritizing patients (e.g., medical characteristics, lifestyle choices, and so on). Then, we ask subjects comparison queries between patient profiles and estimate weights in a principled way from their responses. We show how to use these weights in kidney exchange market clearing algorithms. We then evaluate the impact of the weights in simulations and find that the precise numerical values of the weights we computed matter little, other than the ordering of profiles that they imply. However, compared to not prioritizing patients at all, there is a significant effect, with certain classes of patients being (de)prioritized based on the human-elicited value judgments.


Moral Decision Making Frameworks for Artificial Intelligence

AAAI Conferences

The generality of decision and game theory has enabled domain-independent progress in AI research. For example, a better algorithm for finding good policies in (PO)MDPs can be instantly used in a variety of applications. But such a general theory is lacking when it comes to moral decision making. For AI applications with a moral component, are we then forced to build systems based on many ad-hoc rules? In this paper we discuss possible ways to avoid this conclusion.


Automated Design of Robust Mechanisms

AAAI Conferences

We introduce a new class of mechanisms, robust mechanisms, that is an intermediary between ex-post mechanisms and Bayesian mechanisms. This new class of mechanisms allows the mechanism designer to incorporate imprecise estimates of the distribution over bidder valuations in a way that provides strong guarantees that the mechanism will perform at least as well as ex-post mechanisms, while in many cases performing better. We further extend this class to mechanisms that are with high probability incentive compatible and individually rational, ε-robust mechanisms. Using techniques from automated mechanism design and robust optimization, we provide an algorithm polynomial in the number of bidder types to design robust and ε-robust mechanisms. We show experimentally that this new class of mechanisms can significantly outperform traditional mechanism design techniques when the mechanism designer has an estimate of the distribution and the bidder’s valuation is correlated with an externally verifiable signal.


Disarmament Games

AAAI Conferences

Much recent work in the AI community concerns algorithms for computing optimal mixed strategies to commit to, as well as the deployment of such algorithms in real security applications. Another possibility is to commit not to play certain actions. If only one player makes such a commitment, then this is generally less powerful than completely committing to a single mixed strategy. However, if players can alternatingly commit not to play certain actions and thereby iteratively reduce their strategy spaces, then desirable outcomes can be obtained that would not have been possible with just a single player committing to a mixed strategy. We refer to such a setting as a disarmament game. In this paper, we study disarmament for two-player normal-form games. We show that deciding whether an outcome can be obtained with disarmament is NP-complete (even for a fixed number of rounds), if only pure strategies can be removed. On the other hand, for the case where mixed strategies can be removed, we provide a folk theorem that shows that all desirable utility profiles can be obtained, and give an efficient algorithm for (approximately) obtaining them.


Moral Decision Making Frameworks for Artificial Intelligence

AAAI Conferences

The generality of decision and game theory has enabled domain-independent progress in AI research. For example, a better algorithm for finding good policies in (PO)MDPs can be instantly used in a variety of applications. But such a general theory is lacking when it comes to moral decision making. For AI applications with a moral component, are we then forced to build systems based on many ad-hoc rules? In this paper we discuss possible ways to avoid this conclusion.


Computing Possible and Necessary Equilibrium Actions (and Bipartisan Set Winners)

AAAI Conferences

In many multiagent environments, a designer has some, but limited control over the game being played. In this paper, we formalize this by considering incompletely specified games, in which some entries of the payoff matrices can be chosen from a specified set. We show that it is NP-hard for the designer to make this choices optimally, even in zero-sum games. In fact, it is already intractable to decide whether a given action is (potentially or necessarily) played in equilibrium. We also consider incompletely specified symmetric games in which all completions are required to be symmetric. Here, hardness holds even in weak tournament games (symmetric zero-sum games whose entries are all -1, 0, or 1) and in tournament games (symmetric zero-sum games whose non-diagonal entries are all -1 or 1). The latter result settles the complexity of the possible and necessary winner problems for a social-choice-theoretic solution concept known as the bipartisan set. We finally give a mixed-integer linear programming formulation for weak tournament games and evaluate it experimentally.


Rules for Choosing Societal Tradeoffs

AAAI Conferences

We study the societal tradeoffs problem, where a set of voters each submit their ideal tradeoff value between each pair of activities (e.g., "using a gallon of gasoline is as bad as creating 2 bags of landfill trash"), and these are then aggregated into the societal tradeoff vector using a rule. We introduce the family of distance-based rules and show that these can be justified as maximum likelihood estimators of the truth. Within this family, we single out the logarithmic distance-based rule as especially appealing based on a social-choice-theoretic axiomatization. We give an efficient algorithm for executing this rule as well as an approximate hill climbing algorithm, and evaluate these experimentally.


Maximizing Revenue with Limited Correlation: The Cost of Ex-Post Incentive Compatibility

AAAI Conferences

In a landmark paper in the mechanism design literature, Cremer and McLean (1985) (CM for short) show that when a bidder’s valuation is correlated with an external signal, a monopolistic seller is able to extract the full social surplus as revenue. In the original paper and subsequent literature, the focus has been on ex-post incentive compatible (or IC) mechanisms, where truth telling is an ex-post Nash equilibrium. In this paper, we explore the implications of Bayesian versus ex-post IC in a correlated valuation setting. We generalize the full extraction result to settings that do not satisfy the assumptions of CM. In particular, we give necessary and sufficient conditions for full extraction that strictly relax the original conditions given in CM. These more general conditions characterize the situations under which requiring ex-post IC leads to a decrease in expected revenue relative to Bayesian IC. We also demonstrate that the expected revenue from the optimal ex-post IC mechanism guarantees at most a (|Θ| + 1)/4 approximation to that of a Bayesian IC mechanism, where |Θ| is the number of bidder types. Finally, using techniques from automated mechanism design, we show that, for randomly generated distributions, the average expected revenue achieved by Bayesian IC mechanisms is significantly larger than that for ex-post IC mechanisms.


Maximal Cooperation in Repeated Games on Social Networks

AAAI Conferences

Standard results on and algorithms for repeated games assume that defections are instantly observable. In reality, it may take some time for the knowledge that a defection has occurred to propagate through the social network. How does this affect the structure of equilibria and algorithms for computing them? In this paper, we consider games with cooperation and defection. We prove that there exists a unique maximal set of forever-cooperating agents in equilibrium and give an efficient algorithm for computing it. We then evaluate this algorithm on random graphs and find experimentally that there appears to be a phase transition between cooperation everywhere and defection everywhere, based on the value of cooperation and the discount factor. Finally, we provide a condition for when the equilibrium found is credible, in the sense that agents are in fact motivated to punish deviating agents. We find that this condition always holds in our experiments, provided the graphs are sufficiently large.


Cooperative Game Solution Concepts that Maximize Stability under Noise

AAAI Conferences

In cooperative game theory, it is typically assumed that the value of each coalition is known. We depart from this, assuming that v(S) is only a noisy estimate of the true value V (S), which is not yet known. In this context, we investigate which solution concepts maximize the probability of ex-post stability (after the true values are revealed). We show how various conditions on the noise characterize the least core and the nucleolus as optimal. Modifying some aspects of these conditions to (arguably) make them more realistic, we obtain characterizations of new solution concepts as being optimal, including the partial nucleolus, the multiplicative least core, and the multiplicative nucleolus.