CMSC474: Introduction to Computational Game Theory, Fall 2013


Instructor: Mohammad T. HajiAghayi

TA: Hossein Esfandiari


Latest Announcements and Assignments (Last updated 12/10/13)

·       Final-exam date is December 21, 2013 (Sat) 10:30am-12:30pm at  CSI 1121 

·        Midterm is on Nov 21 in the class

·         Review session for Midterm is on Nov 19 in the class

·         Assignment release dates and due dates are announced below

·         See the course agenda

·         First lecture on Sep 3, 2013



Assignments and Midterm Schedule (Tentative)

·       Assignment 1:

o   Release date: Sep 12,

o   Due date: Sep 26 before the class (see instructions for submission inside the assignment)     Solutions to be released the same day.

·       Assignment 2:

o   Release date: Oct 10,

o   Due date: Oct 24 before the class (see instructions for submission inside the assignment)     Solutions to be released the same day.

·       Assignment 3:

o   Release date: Nov 5,

o   Due date: Nov 19 before the class (see instructions for submission inside the assignment)     Solutions to be released the same day.

·       Review session: Nov 19 in the class

·       Midterm date: Nov 21, 2013 in the class

·       Assignment 4:

o   Release date: Nov 28,

o   Due date: Dec 12 before the class (see instructions for submission inside the assignment)     Solutions to be released the same day.

·        Final date: December 21, 2013 (Sat) 10:30am-12:30pm at CSI 1121


Brief Course Description

Mechanism Design in particular Algorithmic Game Theory, which can be viewed as ``incentive-aware algorithm design'', has become an increasingly important part of computer science in recent years. In this course, we review the basics of game theory and algorithmic game theory and we consider several game theoretic scenarios in the class.


Course Agenda:


See the course agenda.


Reference Books:


Essentials of Game Theory: A Concise, Multidisciplinary Introduction, by Leyton-Brown, Morgan and Claypool Publishers, 2008.
Algorithmic Game Theory, edited by Nisan, Roughgarden, Tardos, and Vazirani, Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Notes from the webpage of a similar course taught by Professor Nau.

Detailed Schedule:


Disclaimer: some slides are taken from slides of co-designer of this course at UMD Professor Dana


09/03/13: Review of course agenda and introduction.


09/05/13: Normal-form games.


09/10/13: Important normal-form games.


09/12/13: Analyzing normal-form games.


09/17/13: Road networks and Braess’s paradox.


09/19/13: Finding Nash equilibria.


09/24/13: Rationalizability and price of anarchy.


09/26/13: Maxmin and minmax strategies.


10/01/13: Dominant strategies and correlated equilibrium.


10/03/13: Computing correlated equilibrium (continuing previous session) and epsilon-Nash equilibrium


10/08/13: Evolutionarily stable strategies, and Quiz 1


10/10/13: Perfect-information extensive form games, and answer to Quiz 1 (in class)


10/15/13:  Guest Lecture by Anshul Sawant: Epsilon approximate equilibria with multiple payoffs and no priors


10/17/13: Sub-game perfect equilibrium


10/22/13: Imperfect-information games


10/24/13: Behavioral vs. mixed strategies


10/29/13: Repeated games


10/31/13: Bayesian games & games of incomplete information


11/05/13: Coalition game theory


11/07/13: Shapley values


11/12/13: Guest Lecture by Aravind Srinivasan: Social networks


11/14/13: Introduction to auctions


11/19/13: Midterm review session


11/21/13: Midterm


11/26/13: Guest Lecture by Hamid Mahini: Network bargaining games


11/28/13: Thanksgiving: Happy holidayJ


12/03/13: More auctions


12/05/13: Online advertisement auctions


12/10/13: No class: University is closed due to snow

12/12/13: Game-tree search and pruning algorithms (last day of the class)




Needed Background


Minimum grade of C- in CMSC351 is strongly recommended. If you are unsure of whether you have sufficient background for this course or not, please contact the instructor in the first week of the class or before.


Tentative Grading & Evaluation


See the course agenda above.


            Other Resources (from here)


            Tips for good technical writing

           The elements of style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White (follow the "External links" at the bottom of this page for online copies of this book).

           Writing a technical paper, by Professor Michael Ernst.

                 Tips for writing technical papers, by Professor Jennifer Widom.

           Writing suggestions, by Professor Barton Miller.

           How to write a dissertation, by Professor Douglas Comer (most of the content on this page applies to all forms of technical writing).


            Tips for effective presentation

           Giving a technical talk, by Professor Michael Ernst.

           Tips for a good conference talk, by Professor Jennifer Widom.

           Oral presentation advice, by Professor Mark Hill.


General Information


Mohammad T. HajiAghayi

Time and Location:

Tue-Thu, 3:30 PM--4:45 PM, @ CSI Room 1121

Office hours:      

By appointment via e-mail OR Thu 12:00PM-1:00PM at A.V. Williams Bldg., Room 3249.


3249 A.V. Williams




The first 8 letters of instructor’s last name (AT) cs (DOT) umd (DOT)  edu


Hossein Esfandiari

TA’s Email