Every two years, DIMACS and LAMSADE (at University Paris Dauphine) organize a workshop on algorithmic decision theory. This year it happened to be in Paris. The workshop was jointly held with the COST IC0602 program, which is a European collaborative networking project on decision theory. The COST program was kind enough to provide funds for some PhD students who attended the workshop. Decision theory has strong links with computer science and has numerous applications. The meeting was a unifying platform for people from computer science, operations research, artificial intelligence and economics.
The first day was dedicated to tutorials. Vincent Conitzer from Duke University gave a very good overview of algorithmic game theory. Sasa Pekec, another academic from Duke was impressive in his tutorial on auction theory and prediction markets. The meeting was a good blend of academics and practitioners. Among practitioners, there was a researcher from IBM who spoke about business analytics. Tuomas Sandholm is a good example of someone who combines theory and practice. He provided insight into his company’s (CombineNet) work on bidding-auctions, which are useful to both suppliers and buyers.
From the mention of Cost action programs, it is apparent that many big collaborative projects in European countries are being funded by ESF. The details of the projects also give a good idea of funding trends in various scientific areas.
All in all, the workshop was a great opportunity to learn some new things and also to meet interesting people. The next meeting in algorithmic decision theory is in Venice. This is definitely one event I’ll consider for next year.