TY - GEN

T1 - Why prices need algorithms

AU - Roughgarden, Tim

AU - Talgam-Cohen, Inbal

N1 - Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Copyright held by the owner/author(s).

PY - 2017/6/19

Y1 - 2017/6/19

N2 - Computational complexity has already had plenty to say about the computation of economic equilibria. However, understanding when equilibria are guaranteed to exist is a central theme in economic theory, seemingly unrelated to computation. In this talk we survey our main results presented at EC'15, which show that the existence of equilibria in markets is inextricably connected to the computational complexity of related optimization problems, such as revenue or welfare maximization. We demonstrate how this relationship implies, under suitable complexity assumptions, a host of impossibility results. We also suggest a complexity-theoretic explanation for the lack of useful extensions of the Walrasian equilibrium concept: such extensions seem to require the invention of novel polynomial-time algorithms for welfare maximization.

AB - Computational complexity has already had plenty to say about the computation of economic equilibria. However, understanding when equilibria are guaranteed to exist is a central theme in economic theory, seemingly unrelated to computation. In this talk we survey our main results presented at EC'15, which show that the existence of equilibria in markets is inextricably connected to the computational complexity of related optimization problems, such as revenue or welfare maximization. We demonstrate how this relationship implies, under suitable complexity assumptions, a host of impossibility results. We also suggest a complexity-theoretic explanation for the lack of useful extensions of the Walrasian equilibrium concept: such extensions seem to require the invention of novel polynomial-time algorithms for welfare maximization.

KW - Walrasian equilibrium existence

KW - Welfare maximization

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85024391985&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1145/3055399.3079077

DO - 10.1145/3055399.3079077

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AN - SCOPUS:85024391985

T3 - Proceedings of the Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing

SP - 2

BT - STOC 2017 - Proceedings of the 49th Annual ACM SIGACT Symposium on Theory of Computing

A2 - McKenzie, Pierre

A2 - King, Valerie

A2 - Hatami, Hamed

PB - Association for Computing Machinery

T2 - 49th Annual ACM SIGACT Symposium on Theory of Computing, STOC 2017

Y2 - 19 June 2017 through 23 June 2017

ER -