Computer Agents for Reasoning about People's Beliefs and Preferences (joint work with Avi pfeffer)

Technological advancements have created opportunities for computers to interact with people in diverse settings, whether as autonomous actors or as proxies for individual people or organizations. The range and complexity of human decision-making raises significant challenges to the design of successful computer agents for these mixed human-computer settings. This talk will present work that addresses these challenges by synthesizing AI techniques with results from behavioral economics and psychology.

Rational Expectations in Games

A player i's actions in a game are determined by her beliefs about other players; these depend on the game's real-life context, not only its formal description. Define a game situation as a game together with such beliefs; call the beliefs---and i's resulting expectation---rational if there is common knowledge of rationality and a common prior. In two-person zero-sum games, i's only rational expectation is the game's value.

Aggregating Probabilities Across Offences in Criminal Law (joint work with Alon Harel)

A defendant is charged with four offences, allegedly committed in four different times and places. The probability that he committed each one of the offences is 90%. Assume that the minimum threshold required for conviction is 95%. Under prevailing criminal law the defendant would be acquitted of all four charges since no offence can be attributed to him. However, a simple calculation reveals that the probability that the defendant committed no offence at all is .01% only!

Bargaining and Cooperation in Strategic Form Games (joint with Andreu Mas-Colell)

In this paper we view bargaining and cooperation as an interaction superimposed on a strategic form game. A multistage bargaining procedure for N players, the "proposer commitment" procedure, is presented. It is inspired by Nash's two-player variable-threat model; a key feature is the commitment to "threats." We establish links to classical cooperative game theory solutions, such as the Shapley value in the transferable utility case.

Resilient and Equilibrium-Free Mechanism Design

Traditional mechanism design achieves a desired property "at equilibrium", and is thus vulnerable to equilibrium selection and player collusion.We advocate that mechanisms should be designed in a new way, so as to achieve their desiderata without these vulnerabilities.We exemplify our notions and techniques for guaranteeing revenue in UNRESTRICTED combinatorial auctions ¾ a problem about which very little is known, even assuming that all players are rational and independent.(Based on work with Paul Valiant, and on work with Jing Chen.)

Theory of Opportunities as an Interdisciplinary Science

"And who are you? Opportunity, the all conqueror. Why do you stride on the tips of your toes? I am always running. Why do you have pairs of wings of your feet? I fly like the wind. Why do you carry a razor in your right hand? As a sign to a man that my appearance is more abrupt than any blade (is sharp). And your hair, why does it hang down over your face? So that he who encounters me may grab it. By Zeus,and why is the back of your head bald?

Stationary Payoffs and Equilibrium

The continuous and stationary cardinal utilities defined on infinite sequences z(1),a(1),z(2),a(2),z(3),... of states z(t) in S and activities/consumptions at in A are characterized. Such infinite sequences arise explicitly as plays of a stochastic game with state space S and set of action profiles A or as the feasible economy evolutions where z(t) is a state variable describing the available technology and/or information and/or preference at stage t and a(t) describes the economic activity at stage t.


We introduce emotions into an equilibrium notion. In a mental equilibriumeach player "selects" an emotional state which determines the player'spreferences over the outcomes of the game. These preferences typically differfrom the players' material preferences. The emotional states interact toplay a Nash equilibrium and in addition each player emotional state mustbe a best response (with respect to material preferences) to the emotionalsatetes of the others.

The Non-conscious Executive in its Ideological Context

This talk will be comprised of two related parts. The first will serve as background, in which I will succinctly review current views on non-conscious higher-order cognitive processes, and present data that suggest that these should be expanded to include non-conscious conflicts (the data was gathered while subjects were playing a commons resource dilemma).

Might vs. morality in majority-minority relations in Israel: some insights from ultimatum experiments

The ultimatum game depicts an interactive situation in which two players have different modalities of control over a shared resource. While one player, the proposer, has an exclusive entitlement to propose an allocation, a second player, the responder, has an exclusive entitlement to veto a proposed allocation. Results from ultimatum bargaining experiments will be utilized to speculate on the roles of might and morality in interactive situations characterized by power asymmetry.


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