CS364B: Foundations of Sponsored Search

Instructor: Tim Roughgarden (Office hours: after lecture in Gates 462)

Teaching Assistant: Mukund Sundararajan (Office hours: Mondays 1-2, Thursdays 2-3 in Gates 470)

Time/location: 2:15-5 PM on Mondays in 380-381U.

Course description: Survey of current research on sponsored search auctions used by search engines such as Google and Yahoo!. Topics include: fundamentals of dominant-strategy auction design and the VCG mechanism; matching markets and envy-free pricing; generalized second-price (GSP) auctions and their equilibria; bidding strategies in and convergence properties of GSP auctions; Bayesian auction theory and revenue-maximization; the role of bidder budgets in revenue maximization and bidding strategies; click fraud; and economic issues in auction interface design. Time permitting, we will conclude by surveying one or two other topics at the interface of game theory and contemporary Internet algorithms, such as prediction markets or reputation systems. Prerequisites: 154N and 161, or equivalents.

Course requirements: 2-3 problem sets and a course project. Students taking the course pass/fail can skip the problem sets but must complete the project.

General references:

Schedule and references: (Under construction.)