Speaker: Patrick Girard, University of Auckland (Department of Philosophy) and CMSS Member

Title of talk #1: “Ceteris Paribus Preferences”

Date, Time and Venue: Wednesday, 22 March 2017,  2:00-3:00 pm, 206-202 [Arts 1 Building, Level 2]

What talk #1 is going to be about, in Patrick’s own words: “I’m writing a book on Ceteris Paribus Logic. I’m trying to get closure with 10+ years on the topic, which had me doing a log of preference and belief revision logic. I have a chapter on preference logic which at the moment contains no less than 40 definitions of preference! Some are a bit mad, but for the most part they are plausible. As a logician, my goal is to unify them all into a simple preference logic, which is what the book is about, but not what I will bore you with in the talk. Instead, I will get you to realise why one might be so mad as to offer 40 definitions of preferences, and we can discuss if and how it may relate to your own research.”

Title of talk #2: “Inconsistent Logic”

Date, Time and Venue: Wednesday, 29 March 2017,  2:00-3:00 pm, 260-040B [Business School Building, Level 0]

What talk #2 is going to be about, in Patrick’s own words: “Now this is mad! I’m a new-born dialetheist. That’s a philosophical position which says that some contradictions are inevitable. By “inevitable”, we mean that they are true. As non-sensical as it sounds, there’s a lot of research trying to find logics, and mathematics, that can accommodate such madness. Those are called “Paraconsistent Logics” in general. Not all of them need to accept that there are true contradictions, so not all is mad. There are practical motivations for looking at logics that can tolerate inconsistencies. Think about an auto-pilot that needs to save a cabin of free passengers while receiving inconsistent information from it’s various channels. Or think about inconsistencies that people display in their beliefs and preferences, and how those are always idealised away, because we can’t cope with contradiction. Well, maybe we can, if we let in a bit more madness in our logic.”

Everyone welcome!

Speaker: Arkadii Slinko
Affiliation: Department of Mathematics
Title: Growth of dimension in complete simple games
Date: Monday, 16 May 2016
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: Clock Tower 032

Simple games are used to model a wide range of situations from decision making in committees to reliability of systems made from unreliable components and McCulloch-Pitts units in threshold logic. Weighted voting games are a natural and practically important class of simple games, in which each agent is assigned a numerical weight, and a coalition is winning if the sum of weights of agents in that coalition achieves a certain threshold.

The concept of dimension in simple games was introduced by Taylor and Zwicker in 1993 as a measure of remoteness of a given simple game from a weighted game. They demonstrated that the dimension of a simple game can grow exponentially in the number of players. However, the problem of worst-case growth of the dimension in the important class of complete games was left open. Freixas and Puente (2008) showed that complete games of arbitrary dimension exist and, in particular, their examples demonstrate that the worst-case growth of dimension in complete games is at least linear. In this paper, using a novel technique of Kurz and Napel (2015), we demonstrate that the worst-case growth of dimension in complete games is at least polynomial in the number of players. Whether or not it can be exponential remains an open question.

This is a joint paper with Liam O’Dwyer.

Everyone welcome!

The CMSS is pleased to announce the programme for its 5th Summer Workshop.

The Workshop will take place on 10-11 December 2013 at the University of Auckland.  There is no registration fee for attending the Workshop — all are welcome.




DAY 1 



Chair: Matthew Ryan

Approximate Implementation in Markovian Environments

Ludovic Renou (University of Essex) and Tristan Tomala (HEC, Paris and GREGHEC)

A Multi-Unit Dominant Strategy Double Auction

Simon Loertscher (University of Melbourne) and Claudio Mezzetti (University of Melbourne)



Chair: John Hillas

Plasticity, Monotonicity, and Implementability

Juan Carlos Carbajal (UNSW) and Rudolf Müller (Maastricht University)

Fair Division with Random Demand

Jingyi Xue (Singapore Management University)



Chair: Mark Wilson

Extension Theorems for the Price of Anarchy

Tim Roughgarden (Stanford University)



Chair: Arkadii Slinko

Implementation of Communication Equilibria by Cryptographic Cheap Talk

Peter Bardsley (University of Melbourne) and Vanessa Teague (University of Melbourne)

One-Way Interdependent Games

Andrés Abeliuk (NICTA and University of Melbourne), Gerardo Berbeglia (NICTA and Melbourne Business School) and Pascal van Hentenryck (NICTA and University of Melbourne)

Experimental Design to Persuade

Anton Kolotilin (UNSW)


DAY 2 



Chair: Golbon Zakeri

Testing for Market Efficiency with Transactions Costs:  An Application to Convergence Bidding in Wholesale Electricity Markets

Akshaya Jha (Stanford University) and Frank Wolak (Stanford University)

The Competitive Price of Stored Water

Andy Philpott (University of Auckland)



Chair: Golbon Zakeri

An Equilibrium Model of a Congested Oligopolistic Electricity Market with an Imperfect Cap and Trade Market for CO2 Permits

Shmuel Oren (UC Berkeley)

Vertical Structure and the Price Effects of Mergers

Jim Bushnell (UC Davis)



Chair: Simona Fabrizi

Inefficiency in the Shadow of Unobservable Reservation Payoffs

Madhav Aney (Singapore Management University)

Learning, Entry and Competition with Uncertain Common Entry Costs

Francis Bloch (Paris School of Economics), Simona Fabrizi (Massey University) and Steffen Lippert (University of Otago)

Ex-post Efficiency with Random Participation

Murali Agastya (University of Sydney) and Oleksii Birulin (University of Sydney)



Chair: Steffen Lippert

Edgeworth Equilibria Separable and Non-Separable Spaces

Anuj Bhowmik (ISI, Kolkata)

Voting Manipulation Games

Arkadii Slinko (University of Auckland)

Welfare Implications of Strategic Voting

Mark Wilson (University of Auckland)





All sessions will be held in Room 315 of the Arts 1 Building (building number 206).


Registration, morning and afternoon teas will take place in the foyer outside 315.  Lunches will be served on the Level 6 airbridge in the Owen G. Glenn Building (building number 260).

Workshop Dinner

There will be a conference dinner on 10 December at Ima’s Bistro.  The following map has directions from campus.

The dinner is free for presenters.  Others wishing to join us for dinner should contact Matthew Ryan (m.ryan@auckland.ac.nz) to confirm availability of space and the attendance fee.


Popular hotels and serviced apartments in the vicinity of campus include:

The Quadrant

Waldorf Celestion

The Pullman

Quest Carlaw Park

Quest Parnell

The Langham

ATE Symposium

Attendees may also be interested in the following event, taking place at the Albany Campus of Massey University on 12-13 December:

1st ATE Symposium


Finally, thanks to our generous sponsors:

ATE Research Network (Massey University)

Department of Computer Science (University of Auckland)

Energy Centre (University of Auckland)

Electric Power Optimization Centre (University of Auckland)

University of Auckland Business School



Professor Puppe, Chair of Economic Theory at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, visited the CMSS for several weeks in February and March of 2013. Professor Puppe is managing editor of Social Choice and Welfare.

On 20 March 2013, Professor Puppe gave a Public Lecture on “Choosing how to vote: the mathematics of elections”. It gives a non-technical overview of the area. With New Zealand in the midst of a review of the Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMP) voting system, the CMSS hopes that such events will promote more informed debate on this important topic.

Link to a video record of the talk (audio plus slides) here:


The 2010 summer workshop archive now contains almost all the slides for the talks.
The 2011 workshop is tentatively planned for December, and will have logic as a theme. More details will follow throughout the year.
Mark Wilson is now the Director of CMSS and the seminar organizer is Arkadii Slinko. Please contact us if you want to give a talk in the seminar, or otherwise visit us.
We expect some visitors in 2011, including Nadja Betzler from Germany.

Speaker: John Hillas
Affiliation: Department of Economics, UoA
Title: Backward Induction in Games with Imperfect Recall (with D. Kvasov)
Date: Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: 301-242 [Science Centre, Symonds Street]


The standard solution concepts motivated by the idea of backward induction, subgame perfect equilibrium, extensive form perfect equilibrium, sequential equilibrium, and quasi-perfect equilibrium were explicitly defined only for games with perfect recall.  In games with imperfect recall a literal application of the same definitions is clearly inappropriate.  We give definitions that coincide with the standard definitions in games with perfect recall and define sensible solutions in games without perfect recall.

The basic idea is to look, at subsets of each player’s information sets, at the pure strategies that make that those subsets reachable and to define a system of beliefs as associating to that strategy and that subset a distribution over the other players’ strategies.  We define the relevant solution concepts and show (conjecture) that the inclusions and the relation to proper equilibrium of the associated normal that were true for games with perfect recall remain true.

Very much work in progress.

The Centre for Mathematical Social Science has been officially established as a University of Auckland departmental centre in the Department of Mathematics. It supersedes the informal Mathematical Social Science group. We look forward to the future under this more formal arrangement.

Some information from the formal document setting up the centre:

The CMSS will provide a focus for academic exchanges between social scientists working with mathematical or computational methodologies, and researchers from pure and applied mathematical disciplines who are investigating problems with relevance to social science. It will
also facilitate cross-disciplinary supervision of research students and the teaching of inter-disciplinary courses. Students of mathematical or computational disciplines will discover new areas of application; and social scientists can learn about mathematical techniques that may be useful to their own research.

Since 2005, a group from the Departments of Mathematics, Economics, Computer Science, Statistics, and Engineering Science has run a lively seminar series on mathematical social science, hosted a range of distinguished academic visitors and co-organised several Workshops.
Establishment of the CMSS recognises the growing contribution of this group to the intellectual life of the University. More importantly, we intend that the Centre will contribute to the development of the group’s inter-disciplinary research agenda and expand the scope of its
activities, especially in the area of inter-disciplinary teaching. Faculty from the Departments of Philosophy and Finance are also amongst the founding members of the Centre, and we encourage even broader participation.

CMSS Advisory Board:

Prof. James Sneyd (HOD, Mathematics, Auckland) – CHAIR
Prof. Walter Bossert (Economics, Montreal)
Prof. Steven Brams (Political Science, NYU)
Prof. Andy McLennan (Economics, UQ)
Prof. Hervé Moulin (Economics, Rice)
Prof. Dr Jörg Rothe (Mathematics/Computer Science, Dusseldorf)
Prof. Toby Walsh (Computer Science, UNSW)
Prof. Bill Zwicker (Mathematics, Union College)

Speaker: Reyhaneh Reyhani
Affiliation: Computer Science Department, The University of Auckland
Title: A general model for effects of polls on voters’ behaviour
Date: Thursday, 4 Mar 2010
Time: 3:00 pm
Location: Room 401

The influence of pre-election polls on the result of an election is a problem that many authors have discussed. In this talk, we investigate this problem with a general model for m candidates under the plurality rule. Voters cannot be completely sure about the result of polls because of coverage bias or response bias. Therefore, we consider a general distribution of uncertainty in each poll for voters. We discuss the best strategy of voters according to the information that polls give them and how the sequence of polls leads voters to a unique equilibrium. We deduce a Duvergerian equilibrium in the limit in some cases. This is joint work in progress with Javad Khazaei and Mark Wilson.