Back to Game Theory II: Advanced Applications

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Popularized by movies such as "A Beautiful Mind", game theory is the mathematical modeling of strategic interaction among rational (and irrational) agents. Over four weeks of lectures, this advanced course considers how to design interactions between agents in order to achieve good social outcomes. Three main topics are covered: social choice theory (i.e., collective decision making and voting systems), mechanism design, and auctions.
In the first week we consider the problem of aggregating different agents' preferences, discussing voting rules and the challenges faced in collective decision making. We present some of the most important theoretical results in the area: notably, Arrow's Theorem, which proves that there is no "perfect" voting system, and also the Gibbard-Satterthwaite and Muller-Satterthwaite Theorems. We move on to consider the problem of making collective decisions when agents are self interested and can strategically misreport their preferences. We explain "mechanism design" -- a broad framework for designing interactions between self-interested agents -- and give some key theoretical results. Our third week focuses on the problem of designing mechanisms to maximize aggregate happiness across agents, and presents the powerful family of Vickrey-Clarke-Groves mechanisms. The course wraps up with a fourth week that considers the problem of allocating scarce resources among self-interested agents, and that provides an introduction to auction theory.
You can find a full syllabus and description of the course here: http://web.stanford.edu/~jacksonm/GTOC-II-Syllabus.html
There is also a predecessor course to this one, for those who want to learn or remind themselves of the basic concepts of game theory: https://www.coursera.org/learn/game-theory-1
An intro video can be found here: http://web.stanford.edu/~jacksonm/Game-Theory-2-Intro.mp4...

AV

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Great course. Very relevant to a lot of problems in business. Content was overtly mathematical. More practical examples cold have been interesting to solve.

GL

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Very interesting and challenging... I wish there were more practical/real-world examples to learn the concepts but I was very glad to take this course

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By Lisa V

•May 2, 2017

Very interesting! One missing thing: please write explanations for correct/incorrect questions in quizzes. In the basic course, I found them very helpful in understanding why my reasoning was wrong.

By Diogo C

•Jul 1, 2018

Better than the first course. The topics were less familiar to me, so it opened a few more doors.I still feel like the math was neglected, most of the time. I don't expect every derivation, but at least an acknowledgement of where the formulas come from if one wants to derive them himself.The graded quizzes should have provided an explanation of the correct answers, I think. Sometimes that explanation made everything clearer to me (when I got the correct by mistake or by simple elimination).I really appreciate the reading material! At least I can now follow the subject more in-depth if I want, so that's very welcome.Overall, still feels like a fairly light overview, but it's a good introduction to the subjects of mechanism design and auctions, I feel.

By Edmund

•Jun 6, 2020

The beginning of this course was interesting much like Game Theory I, but the latter half of the course went over my head. It would have been helpful if problem sets and exam are given explanations after submission similar to how it was done in Game Theory I. Sometimes I have no idea how particular answers are obtained.

By Prabhupad B

•Feb 13, 2021

No proper explanations were given for any of the assignment questions, and also, in the lectures, the examples were missing. The course needs a significant improvement in terms of the content

By 汪宇恒

•Apr 3, 2018

too hard...need some analysis background

By Mohammad Z

•Sep 9, 2018

poorly explained lectures. you're better off reading a textbook

By Georges R

•Sep 9, 2019

Really enlightening class!

I now feel empowered to create project management processes that encourage truthfulness and participation of its different stakeholders in my everyday job.

I also found some very interesting parallels with the methodology of pricing and notably price elasticity, which is key when designing a new product or its associated business model.

PS: Although I understand the importance of it being mathematically formalized, I would have loved it to be sometimes more concrete (especially through exercises and quizzes).

Thank you so much,

By Balazs “ F

•Aug 12, 2022

The videos are good, the assignments as well, the book recommended is especially good, but it´s unfortunate that there is no feedback on assignments.

By Cigdem K

•Oct 15, 2016

The exams did not explain why the wrong answers are wrong. Even after you succeed a test, I expect an explanation of the questions, and the correct answers. Even if I have a correct answer to a question, I don't know if my reasoning is correct..

By Kyle L

•Aug 11, 2017

I enjoyed this course quite a bit. The concepts, while very proof-heavy, could be depicted using intuitive methods of approach. And while it would have been nice for each concept to include interactive exercises- such as in Game Theory I - the repetition of quizzes and problem sets helps one to gain familiarity with the endless amount of themes and properties that get introduced each week. If you are someone that enjoys designing games or attempting to quantify human behavior, this class may offer some interesting perspectives.

By Avik S

•Sep 11, 2016

Outstanding course on Game Theory. Provides excellent mathematical and logical treatment of the concepts and theory. A perfect stepping stone for researchers willing to pursue their research in Gam

By Quji B

•Aug 22, 2022

The course covers a lot of deep and interesting topics but some concepts are just given without proper explanation and there aren't enough exercises before writing quizzes or exams.

By Mariano B P

•May 30, 2018

Excellent! i think it shall contain more realistic examples for mechanism development and auctions

By Fred V

•Sep 6, 2020

Auction theory is left to the last lecture, and the influence of voting systems on political mechanisms is barely addressed. 3 different people lecturing, with different communication skills and flaws (hesitations, over-notating, abuse of acronyms), make following the course more difficult than it needs to be. These being said, it is clear that the authors more than know their stuff (at least the theoretical part; we would like to see them perform when bargaining in a souk) and bring a lot into the course.

By YIHONG J

•Aug 19, 2022

Way too difficult

By Микола К

•Jan 15, 2022

The course intoduces interesting notions on advanced applications of Game Theory. I particularly liked the theme of voting system and auctions. It shows that the results of the game depends very much on the condition of the game, even if the purpose of games under different conditions is the same(voting under different rules). The course also introduces notions of the strategy in auctions, that is pretty interesting. Moreover, here is shown mechanisms on how games are built actully. All lectures have examples, that makes understanding of the material easier.

By Jiang Y

•Oct 30, 2019

Very interesting course! It shows some rather surprising facts for instance we cannot have perfect voting system. The beauty of game theory is it relates maths theories and real-life social economical problems nicely. The lecture itself is comprehensive and well-explained. However some content related to revenue equivalence and virtual valuation in the final exams are not covered in the lecture clips. It would be nice to include it in the lecture or provide some guidance on how to access relevent learning materials.

By Johannes G

•Jul 10, 2020

Tremendous course, presented by some of the best in the business. Thank you to everyone involved. I’m delighted I undertook this challenge and proud to have persevered - has been 12 hard weeks (Game Theory I and II) balancing work, family, exercise, lockdown life and studying. And those darn difficult weekly tests! Course content is excellent; I’ve immensely enjoyed the knowledge and stretching my grey matter. Hope to be able to use the new insights profitably. And am most proud of my Stanford certificates.

By Carlos C

•Jun 28, 2019

The quality of the course is really high and I found it quite demanding, which is nice after the first course. It forces you to focus, review and think deeply about the meaning of the concepts. The exams are well-defined and they test properly the units. Some points aren't perfectly explained but that might be because the requirements for this course are quite high. Someone that is not used to mathematical notation would easily lose the track of the lessons. I hope that there'll be soon a Game Theory III.

By Ka L K

•Apr 10, 2018

A more advanced course than Game Theory I. The topics are interesting but also in depth. Beside the lecture a lot of reading is needed if you really want to understand the concepts. After finishing this course I attend the master course in my university without difficulty to follow. The only thing for improvement is the homework. If lecturers could post some optional homeworks for students who want to train more, then this course will be really a University-level course for undergraduate students.

By Jakob V

•Jan 15, 2017

5 out of 5!

I managed to finish this course in just 6 days. Pretty fascinating and practical, as it is more in depth.

Would totally recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about Game Theory. Assessments are easy relatively; a balanced number of practical calculations and theoretical questions.

All 3 instructors are friendly and experienced in lecturing, which helps a lot in understanding the materials.

:)

By Владислав С

•Jan 7, 2018

Very interesting course, however it requires a lot of effort to put in. I struggled a little bit through math and sometimes it was difficult for me to get a concept but reading adjuctment materials helped me a lot. I think this course was a great complement to my game theory studies. You definetely will learn many fascinating things about mechanism design and auctions!

By Jie H

•Apr 15, 2019

This course could be better in many ways. However, I really appreciate the efforts the professors made to put up so much information into this short course. It opens many new worlds for me in the universe of game theory, and in particular, the Arrow's theorem is so astonishing that it almost refreshed my thinking on the mechanisms of voting.

By Lucas M

•Mar 10, 2019

The professors are great!

I think the students would profit more if there were more exercises to track their learning.

I had some difficulties because sometimes it requires an advanced level in math which I don't have.

Eventhough, I could enjoy and acquire some valuable skills.

Thank you!

Sincerily,

Lucas M.

By 苏恭超

•Feb 25, 2018

This course covers some interesting topics in game theory. It gives you a taste on how some of the more advanced games work out. Some of the quiz and test problems, however, are somewhat puzzling. I would prefer that explanations in detail can be provided for students once they finish quiz and tests.