The following are some ideas for broad topics you might explore in your project. Feel free to go in a completely different direction though -- creativity is encouraged, and I will take an expansive definition of what kinds of things are relavent to this course.

The schedule for the project follows:

Projects can be done in groups of size 1 or 2. Only one copy of each deliverable (proposal, mid-project report, final paper) is needed per group.

Project Ideas

I recommend looking for project ideas by investigating one of the following 3 literatures -- but proposing completely novel directions is encouraged:

(Approximate) Strategy-Proofness in Large Markets

The economics literature has considered the properties of "large markets" for decades, with a recent resurgence of interest. However, in this literature, the notion of a "large market" often requires much more restrictive assumptions than the kinds of "large game" settings we have been talking about: i.e. the type space may need to remain fixed while the number of players tends to infinity, the number of players of each type must tend to infinity, players may need to have their types drawn from a (sometimes product) distribution, there may need to be smoothness conditions on families of equilibria, etc. Can we take results from this literature and strengthen them (by weakening the assumptions needed, making them algorithmically constructive, making their solution concepts more robust, etc.) using the tools of differential privacy?

A sampling of this literature follows (but this is not exhaustive) -- follow the references!

Economic Implications of Privacy

The economics literature has recently become interested in the effects that different kinds of information disclosure have on equilibrium outcomes in various settings. This has resulted in a series of papers that study simple qualitative kinds of privacy (i.e. providing perfect information vs. no information about some purchase decision), and makes qualitative conclusions about the effects of privacy on welfare and revenue. Can you study some of the same kinds of questions while making the results quantitative, by using differential privacy as a measure of privacy?

A sampling of this literature follows (but again -- not exhaustive):

Extending the Game Theory/Differential Privacy Literature

Consider the papers linked from the main course website, which represent most of the published work at the border of differential privacy and game theory. Can you extend them in new directions? Are there other problems studied in the purely game theoretic literature (see either economics journals at large, or the proceedings of computer science conferences like EC, STOC, FOCS, ITCS, and SODA) that might better be modeled with agents having preferences for privacy?