Category Archives: auctions

Talk: Balasubramanian Sivan / Optimal Crowdsourcing Contests / Wed 1/28

From: theory-group-admin@cs.washington.edu
Subject: Talk: Balasubramanian Sivan / Optimal Crowdsourcing Contests / Wed 1/28, 3:30pm / CSE 403

SPEAKER: Balasubramanian Sivan (MSR)
TITLE: Optimal Crowdsourcing Contests

WHEN: Wednesday, 1/28, 3:30pm
WHERE: CSE 403

ABSTRACT:
We study the design and approximation of optimal crowdsourcing
contests. Crowdsourcing contests can be modeled as all-pay auctions because
entrants must exert effort up-front to enter. Unlike all-pay auctions where a
usual design objective would be to maximize revenue, in crowdsourcing contests,
the principal only benefits from the submission with the highest quality. We
give a theory for optimal crowdsourcing contests that mirrors the theory of
optimal auction design. We also compare crowdsourcing contests with more
conventional means of procurement and show that crowdsourcing contests are
constant factor approximations to conventional methods.

Joint work with Shuchi Chawla and Jason Hartline.

From: Abraham D. Flaxman
Subject: FW: Talk: Balasubramanian Sivan / Optimal Crowdsourcing Contests / Wed 1/28, 3:30pm / CSE 403

Sorry I missed this. Jason told me about this project a little while back, and it convinced me to enter a contest. It was more fun than writing a grant proposal, and when it was rejected they gave me a 2nd runner up cash prizeā€¦

–Abie

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Earth Day and Auctions

Here’s a half-baked post that I started months ago. I decided to rush it to press for Earth Day, which is today.

The first U.S. auction for carbon emission pollution rights occurred in December of 2008. It raised over $38.5B, which will go to six states in New England. From ScienceNOW Daily News:

The auction’s premise is that putting a price tag on pollution–so-called carbon trading–will eventually reduce emissions industrywide. Companies must pay for the right to emit greenhouse gas emissions and are penalized for excess pollution.

RGGI states, picture

The ten states shown in dark green are participating in RGGI. Observers are represented in lime green.

The ten states shown in dark green are participating in RGGI. Observers are represented in lime green.

How did the auction work? online, reserve price, open to investors and environmental groups, required for power companies in RGGI states. Not required for manufacturing or transportation. Any earth-day-interested readers out there to fill in these details? Or, to do a little follow up research about how things have gone? (I wrote this last December.)

Finally, here is a humorous critique of carbon trading, based on the observation that carbon credits are a scarce resource. This is highlighted by a paired example from cheatneutral. I find it compelling.

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