Reinforcement Learning of Sequential Price Mechanisms

Gianluca Brero, Alon Eden, Matthias Gerstgrasser, David Parkes, Duncan Rheingans-Yoo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We introduce the use of reinforcement learning for indirect mechanisms, working with the existing class of sequential price mechanisms, which generalizes both serial dictatorship and posted price mechanisms and essentially characterizes all strongly obviously strategyproof mechanisms. Learning an optimal mechanism within this class forms a partially-observable Markov decision process. We provide rigorous conditions for when this class of mechanisms is more powerful than simpler static mechanisms, for sufficiency or insufficiency of observation statistics for learning, and for the necessity of complex (deep) policies. We show that our approach can learn optimal or near-optimal mechanisms in several experimental settings.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication35th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2021
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781713835974
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event35th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 2 Feb 20219 Feb 2021

Publication series

Name35th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2021


Conference35th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2021
CityVirtual, Online

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence


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