Algorithmic Game Theory and Mechanism Design

   Centre for Accountable, Responsible and Transparent AI

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  Dr Jie Zhang  No more applications being accepted  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

From incentive engineering in the sharing economy to ensuring fairness in resource allocation, the traditional economy is reflected in new forms on the internet. In studying internet economics, classical game theory needs to be reformed to investigate its new features. This project employs artificial intelligence, uncertainty analysis to examine important questions that arise in internet economics.

This project aims to align the well-established field of algorithm design with the new reality of game theory and multi-agent systems. Recent research defines and analyses specific internet interactions as a game, derives the associated equilibria, and examines how the efficiency of an online system degrades due to the self-interested behaviour of its agents. This research agenda has found applications in spectrum auctions, cryptocurrencies, prediction markets, reputation systems, matching markets, crowdsourcing, social choice, smart cities, and citizen science.

This project covers a wide range of topics and can be customised to investigate any of the above-mentioned topics. It will build accountable, responsible, and explainable systems for important real-life problems, which take into account individual agents’ preferences, incentives, and constraints. This will be done by analysing the decisive factors in agents’ decision-making processes by causal inference, examining how sensitive a model is to variables by sensitivity analysis, and evaluating the efficiency and fairness by algorithmic approaches.

The outcome of the PhD project will be in the form of explainable artificial intelligence tools for emerging digital marketplaces and advanced decision support to individual agents and market designers, scientific output (peer-reviewed articles), and influence on cross-disciplinary research.

Informal enquiries about the project should be directed to Dr Zhang. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the lead supervisor before applying. 

Successful applicants will have a background in computer science or mathematics, and an interest in computational game theory and multi-agent systems.

Formal applications should be accompanied by a research proposal and made via the University of Bath’s online application form. Further information about the application process can be found here.

Start date: Between 8 January and 30 September 2024.

Computer Science (8) Mathematics (25)

Funding Notes

We welcome applications from candidates who can source their own funding. Tuition fees for the 2023/4 academic year are £4,700 (full-time) for Home students and £26,600 (full-time) for International students. For information about eligibility for Home fee status:



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