Santa Fe Institute

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SFI Calendars

Topical Meeting - Current and Upcoming Events - Feb. 19, 2012

  • * SFI community lectures are free, open, & accessible to the public.
  • * Seminars & colloquia are geared for scientists but free & open to the interested public.
  • * All other SFI events are by invitation only.
  • * Note: We are unable to accommodate members of the public for SFI's limited lunch service; you're welcome to bring your own.

July 12, 2012

Topical Meeting

Purpose: Business Network

Aug. 13, 2012

Noyce Conference Room
Aug. 13, 2012 - Aug. 16, 2012
Topical Meeting

SFI / NMC Program on Combining Information Theory and Game Theory

Organizers: David Wolpert (SFI External Faculty), Simon DeDeo (SFI Omidyar Fellow), Nils Bertschinger (Max Planck), Eckehard Olbrich (Max Planck), Eric Smith (SFI External Faculty), Luis Bettencourt (SFI)

How a single agent (human, fi rm, animal, etc.) behaves typically depends on what information it has about its environment, and on its preferences. Accordingly, the joint behavior of multiple interacting agents can depend strongly on the information available to the separate agents, both about one another, and about external random variables. Precisely how the joint behavior depends on the information available to the agents is determined by the preferences of those agents. So in general there is a strong interplay among the preferences of all the agents, their behavior, and the information structure connecting them.

One tool that might help us understand this interplay is Shannon information theory. In Shannon information theory, information is a function of a distribution. Increasing the amount of information in a distribution means making that distribution more tightly concentrated. This de finition applies not only if the support of the distribution shrinks or expands, but also if it moves.

Another tool that might help us understand the interplay is game theory. In contrast to Shannon information theory, game theory does not quantify information in terms of properties of probability distributions. Rather the information available to a player is quanti fied as an "information set," specifying a set of states the world might be in. The amount of information available to a player increases if such an information set shrinks. In contrast to the case with Shannon information theory, the change in information for moving an information set is undefi ned.

There are other di fferences between information theory and game theory. For example, whereas the foundations of Shannon information theory concern a single player (the designer of a communication network), the foundations of game theory concern multiple players.

Reconciling the di fferent perspectives on information in Shannon information theory and game theory could have many benefi ts. Most directly, it may help us understand the interplay among the preferences of a set of interacting players, their behavior, and the information structure connecting them. As potential examples, it might help us address issues like the following:

1. How do information theoretic quanti fications of the joint behavior of a set of interacting players (e.g., mutual information between actions of pairs of them) vary with changes to the preferences of those players?

2. Can relating the philosophical foundations of the two fields improve them? For example, as Shannon himself emphasized, Shannon information is purely "syntactic," quantifying the amount of information in a distribution purely by how concentrated it is. Can the utility functions of game theory—which depend not just on how concentrated a distribution is, but also on where it is concentrated—be used to de fine a "semantic" variant of Shannon information?

3. Can relating the mathematical formalisms of the two fields improve them? For example, are there analogs of the powerful theorems of information theory for game-theoretic quantities, e.g., game theoretic versions of results concerning rate distortion tradeoff s, the data processing inequality, etc.?

More generally, greater understanding of the relation between information theory and game theory may generate breakthroughs in many disciplines, including economics, political science, cognitive sciences and arti ficial intelligence.

Full web page here.

SFI Host: David Wolpert

Oct. 10, 2012

Topical Meeting

Purpose: Business Network

April 17, 2013

Topical Meeting

Purpose: Business Network

June 24, 2013

Topical Meeting

Co-hosted by HomeAway, Inc.

Held at 1110 W 5th Street, Suite 300, Austin, TX

Purpose: Business Network
SFI Host: Chris Wood

Aug. 7, 2013

Topical Meeting

Venue: Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM

Summary: Technological change is a key component of economic growth. However, economists' treatment of this is typically at an aggregate level, in which technology is represented merely as a single number called the "total factor productivity". This workshop will bring together researchers from a variety of disciplines to make first steps toward constructing a theory of technological change. The discussions will focus on understanding ecosystems of interacting technologies and the factors that cause them to evolve through time. Please join this foremost group of experts, economists, biologists, applied mathematicians, physicists, engineers, archaeologists, and anthropologists for a one-day event in Santa Fe.

The workshop is supported by the Santa Fe Institute, the Institute for New Economic Thinking and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Purpose: Business Network

Sept. 30, 2013

Topical Meeting

Venue: Towers Watson, London, UK

Co-hosted by Towers Watson

Summary: Business enterprises in general, and the modern corporation in particular, have become increasingly important elements in modern life and society. This topical meeting will address the historical origins of the modern corporation, the evolutionary nature of the firm, the impact of increasing globalization, the life cycle of the modern corporation, the implications of the "corporations are persons" doctrine in US law, and the relationship between corporations and other major social institutions such as cities. 

Purpose: Business Network

Oct. 15, 2013

Topical Meeting
Purpose: Business Network

June 2, 2014

Topical Meeting

Purpose: Business Network

July 30, 2014

Aug. 5, 2014

Topical Meeting
Purpose: Business Network

Sept. 26, 2014

Oct. 2, 2014

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