Transparency and Control in Platforms & Networked Markets

Date: April 25, 2019
Time: 2:00 pm
Room: DBH 4011
Speaker: Adam Wierman 

Platforms have emerged as a powerful economic force, driving both traditional markets, like the electricity market, and emerging markets, like the sharing economy. The power of platforms comes from their ability to tame the complexities of networked marketplaces — marketplaces where there is not a single centralized market, but instead a network of interconnected markets loosely defined by a graph of feasible exchanges. Despite the power and prominence of platforms, the workings of platforms are often guarded secrets. Further, many competing platforms make very different design choices, but little is understood about the impact of these differing choices. In this talk, I will overview recent work from our group that focuses on reverse engineering the design of platforms and understanding the consequences of design choices underlying transparency in modern platforms. I will use electricity markets and ridesharing services as motivating examples throughout.


Adam Wierman is a Professor in the Department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at the California Institute of Technology, where he currently serves as Executive Officer. His research interests center around learning, optimization, and economics in networked systems. He received the 2011 ACM SIGMETRICS Rising Star award, the 2014 IEEE Communications Society William R. Bennett Prize, and has been a coauthor on papers that received best paper awards at ACM SIGMETRICS, IEEE INFOCOM, IFIP Performance, IEEE Green Computing Conference, IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting, and ACM GREENMETRICS.

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