Talk:Mechanism design

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High traffic

On 2008-11-26, Mechanism design was linked from Shtetl-Optimized and on 2008-11-29, which was in turn linked from Slashdot, a high-traffic website. (Template:High traffic/stats link)

Recent Change

I think its inaccurate to say that mechanism deisgn was pioneered in during the cold war era- The fact that it was the cold war was irrelevant. It didn't take the cold war to spur on mechanism design, it took game theory and the study of auctions, and advances in the study of Bayesian games.

Also, the second sentence is clunky, and restates things in the opening paragraph. Plus it has misspellings. I am reverting it. DOD 23:47, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Including Reference to Economics

I'm not sure I agree that it needs to be pointed out that Mechanism Design is a subfield of both Game Theory and Economics. There are Computer Science People, and electrical engineering people, and Math people doing Mechanism design without more than a passing reference to economics, and really, there is no Mechanism Design without Game Theory, while there is Economics without either Game Theory or Mechansim design. The subfield of Mechanism Design is contained entirely within Game Theory, which is itself only partially within economics. So I think the change is superfluous. And besides the game theory stub at the bottom makes clear where Mechanism Design falls. So can you give a good reason that the change should stand? I can see why a stub might be added, but I don't think the content of the article needs the repetition. DOD 19:25, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Pyat rublei 1997.jpg

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Image:Pyat rublei 1997.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

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BetacommandBot 11:30, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Actual "howto"?

The article is missing the actual description of how to implement mechanism design. It's just a meta-description. after reading it, i know why you want to use mechanism design, but i still know nothing about "what to do (exactly), when you do mechanism design". There's not even a link to such a paper. :(

Could someone who actually knows something about the topic add real information to the text? :)

Some info

I don't actually know something about the topic, but I share enough of your frustration to spend a few minutes with Google, given that the Nobel Prize in economics was awarded for this work just a few days ago. I am trying to include only those links that are significantly more informative than recent news stories. Many of these are college/university courses where the lecture notes are available online.

I am doing this in haste right now, but maybe I'll get energetic later, actually read some of that stuff, and try to put together a condensed version of the basic ideas. -- WillWare 11:45, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

It turns out there is an hour-long Google tech talk about mechanism design, by a Harvard economics professor named Al Roth. This is likely to have some good tutorial material on how mechanism design works. At the moment my network connection is a bit too strained for video, but the first 75 seconds look promising. -- WillWare 16:22, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't know what I was thinking. That tech talk was about MARKET design. Here is one about MECHANISM design, given by Noam Nisan of Google Tel-Aviv and previously from academia. -- WillWare 20:03, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Missing Content

The content under "See Also" on the main page points to a Google page that is unavailable. This may be temporary, but perhaps someone might check (someone might be me...) in a few days to see if it is back or not. Bob Herrick 21:58, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Removal of Robotics Stub

I saw that User:Masterpiece2000 removed the stub for robotics on this article. I added it back because using markets and mechanism design is actually an emerging practice in multi-robot coordination. Here are a few people I know off the top of my head who are working in this area and have at least a couple papers (that I have read) on using either markets or mechanism design in multi-robot systems: Maria Gini, Sven Koenig, Michail Lagoudakis, Brian Gerkey, and Ruggiero Cavallo. I looked and saw that User:Jamesontai had added this tag, and on his page he mentions working on robotics and "spatial systems", but he is also in Mechanical engineering, so I am not sure whether or not he knew what mechanism design was when he put the tag there, but I'd certainly argue for it, as it has applications in robotics. I added it as low priority, as right now it is not widely used yet, but is an active area of research. Halcyonhazard (talk) 05:53, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Mechanism design has applications in robotics? I will be very surprised if that's true. I don't know much about robotics, but I know about economics. If it has applications in robotics, and if the reliable sources say so, it can be a part of WikiProject Robotics. I will do some research. Masterpiece2000 (talk) 14:00, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Here is a paper that is pretty obvious of the use of mechanism design in robotics: [1] Halcyonhazard (talk) 19:55, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Interesting paper. I will do some more research. Masterpiece2000 (talk) 03:18, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Values discussion missing?

Mechanisim design appears to be an attempt at social engineering from above by those who claim to know best. Isn't this communism? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:58, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Mechanism design is applicable to any system where you have self-interested rational agents and at least one agent has at least rudimentary control over some part of the interactions. Mechanism design is governance, not communism. It is applicable to nearly any type of economic regime including communism and capitalism. You could even argue that the anarcho-capitalism employs mechanism design in the decision to limit centrally enforced rules. From a USA perspective, all of the decisions made by the Fed and the SEC involve mechanism design (whether or not the mathematical treatment of mechanism design is actually used in their decisions is another matter, however, in many situations the problem may be intractable or you don't have enough information). Decisions and legislation of how to treat and punish criminals in order to arrive at desired social norms is also an application of mechanism design. As outlined in the design goals section of the article, no market system (nor voting system) is perfect because it is mathematically impossible to achieve all of the desiderata. This does not mean that markets or democracy are bad -- they are better than all of the known alternatives -- it just means there are always trade-offs that must be made, just like in the project triangle in engineering. For example, the restrictions on insider trading is a decision involving markets based out of mechanism design. Halcyonhazard (talk) 20:12, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Formal notation

If there is going to be a definition in formal notation, then the terms should all be defined. For example, in:

the player will pick an action , where is the set of possible actions for player offered by the mechanism... Each player has utility , where is the outcome generated by the mechanism.

there is no clue, for instance, what is - is "s" a strategy applied to a player's "type", that gives rise to an action? And what is ? This section needs work. It's too long (or not long enough) since I looked at formal methods and pure maths. - Paul (talk) 21:50, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

It isn't clear what theta_-i means or s_-i or u_i mean. If these were explained, then the section would be much clearer —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:08, 18 July 2010 (UTC)


This article doesn't say much about the work of Leonid Hurwicz, Eric Maskin, Roger Myerson, Stanley Reiter, and other pioneers of mechanism design. Lots of work is required. I believe this article can achieve GA status. Masterpiece2000 (talk) 14:15, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

This article has a lot of issues, from correctness to organization to missing information. Mct mht (talk) 16:22, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Minor error in one sentence

The following sentence in this wiki:

Due to the IR condition it has to give every type enough a good enough deal to induce participation.

Should be:

Due to the IR condition it has to give every type a good enough deal to induce participation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:480:610:40:217:31FF:FEEA:AC13 (talk) 14:38, 7 December 2012 (UTC)