PINGZHONG TANG                            



Assistant Professor (2012- )

IIIS, Tsinghua University

Computational Economics Lab


Office: FIT 4-608-5

100084, Beijing, China  



I am National Youth-1000 assistant professor at IIIS (Yao class), Tsinghua University

In Tsinghua, I teach game theory (博弈论) as well as economics and computation (计算与经济) alternately

My research focuses on the interdisciplinary topics at the interface of AI and Game Theory. I enjoy both theoretical and applied problems and split my time evenly on them. A natural combination of AI and game theory often intrigues me, such as simple and optimal auctions, dynamic ad auctions, water right market design as well as reinforcement mechanism design. During PhD, I spent most of my time on using computer programs to automatically discover theorems in game theory. Some theorems discovered this way are reported in a game theoretical journal and the methodology that we invented has now become a standard technique in social choice theory.


Before Tsinghua, I was a postdoc at Tuomas Sandholm’s electronic marketplace Lab, CS, CMU, 2010-2012

I completed PhD in CS, HKUST, 2010 with Fangzhen Lin and bachelor in CS, USTC, 2005

Academic visits

In Fall 2015, I spent a semester at the Simons Institute, UC. Berkeley, participating the Economics and Computation Program.

During PhD, I was exchange student at the EconCS group of CS at Harvard 2010 and the Multiagent lab of CS at Stanford 2008-2009.

Industry collaborations

            I have research collaborations with Alibaba, Baidu, DiDi, Google Research and Microsoft research Asia.

Professional service

 I am currently on SPC of IJCAI-18


ü  Our paper “Non-clairvoyant dynamic mechanism design” is now currently R&R to Econometrica!

ü  I am invited to give the Early Career Spotlight Talk at IJCAI-2017 in Melbourne, August 2017

ü  Our paper “Stability of generalized two-sided markets with transaction thresholds” has been nominated for both best paper and best student paper awards of AAMAS-2017.

ü  Recruitment: PhD, Master position available in the field of AI and applied mechanism design

ü  招生:有意攻读人工智能,计算经济学,博弈论,金融科技方向博士硕士的同学,请与我联系


Artificial Intelligence

Multi-agent System, Electronic Commerce, Machine Learning, Optimization, Recommendation


Mechanism Design, Auction, Market Design, Game Theory


Water right market design, Kidney exchange market design, Ranking algorithm optimization for e-commerce, Ad auction revenue optimization

Publications by topic


Publications by year

Auctions, Revenue maximization, Internet advertising

a)      Non-clairvoyant dynamic mechanism design. (With Vahab Mirrokni, Renato Paes Leme, Song Zuo). R&R at Econometrica. SSRN

1.      70 pages

b)     How to manipulate truthful prior-dependent mechanisms? (With Yulong Zeng). Working paper. PDF.

1.      Presented at the AGT and Data Science workshop, ACM EC-2016

c)      Oblivious dynamic mechanism design. (With Vahab Mirrokni, Renato Paes Leme, Song Zuo). Working paper. PDF.

d)     Optimal dynamic mechanisms with ex-post IR via bank accounts. (With Vahab Mirrokni, Renato Paes Leme, Song Zuo). Working paper. PDF

1.       Presented at the Ad auction workshop, ACM EC-2016

e)      Reinforcement mechanism design. IJCAI-2017, PDF.

f)       Theory and Practice of revenue optimal mechanism design. (with Zihe Wang). IJCAI-2017, Tutorial.

g)     Optimal mechanisms with simple menus. (with Zihe Wang), Journal of Mathematical economics, 2017. PDF link.

1.      Subsume the EC-14 paper below.

2.      Over 50 pages.

h)     Practical versus optimal mechanisms. (With Weiran Shen), AAMAS-2017. PDF.

i)        Fans economy and all-pay auctions with proportional allocations. (With Yulong Zeng, Song Zuo). AAAI-2017. PDF.

j)        Dynamic auctions with bank accounts. (With Vahab Mirrokni, Renato Paes Leme, Song Zuo). IJCAI -2016. New York. USA. PDF.

k)     Optimal auctions for negatively correlated items. (With Zihe Wang) ACM EC-2016. PDF.

l)        Optimal commitments in auctions with incomplete information. (with Zihe Wang, Michael Zhang) ACM EC-2016. PDF.

m)   Discrete action spaces cause little loss in single-item auctions. (With Yicheng Liu) Extended abstract AAMAS-2016. PDF

n)     Optimal auctions for partially rational bidders. (with Zihe Wang) IJCAI-2015, Buenos Aires, Argentina. PDF.

o)      Optimal mechanisms with simple menus. (with Zihe Wang), ACM EC-2014. Palo Alto, USA.

p)     Optimal Auctions for Spiteful Bidders. (With Tuomas Sandholm). AAAI-2012, July, Toronto, Canada. PDF.

q)     Mixed Bundling Auctions with Reserve Prices. (With Tuomas Sandholm). AAMAS-2012, June, Valencia, Spain. PDF.

1.      Also presented at Informs-11, Charlotte, USA.

r)       Approximating optimal combinatorial auctions for complements using restricted welfare maximization. (with Tuomas Sandholm). In IJCAI-2011, Barcelona, Spain. PDF.

1.      Also presented at Informs-2011, Charlotte, USA.

2.      Also presented ACM EC-2011 Workshop on Bayesian Mechanism Design (WBMD), June, 2011, San Jose, CA.


Applied mechanism design and optimization: matchings, kidney exchange, lung exchange, digital good exchange, water right exchange

a)      Optimal vehicle dispatching schemes via dynamic pricing. (With Mengjing Chen, Weiran Shen, Song Zuo) Working paper. PDF.

b)     Coalition manipulations of the Gale-Shapley algorithm. (With Yuan Deng, Weiran Shen). AAAI-2018.

c)      Reinforcement mechanism design for fraudulent behavior in e-commerce. (With Qingpeng Cai, Aris-Filos Ratzikas). AAAI-2018.

d)     Reinforcement mechanism design. IJCAI-2017, PDF.

e)      Efficient near-optimal algorithms for barter exchange. (With Zhipeng Jia, Ruosong Wang, Hanrui Zhang). AAMAS-2017. PDF.

f)       Stability of generalized two-sided markets with transaction thresholds. (With Wei Zhan, Zhiyuan Li, Yicheng Liu). AAMAS-2017. PDF. Nominee for both best paper and best student paper awards. Top 4 among all papers.

1.      AI for social goods, computational sustainability

g)     Mechanism design for personalized recommender systems. (With Qingpeng Cai, Aris-Filos Ratsikas, Chang Liu) ACM Recsys-2016. PDF. Tsinghua News.

h)     Digital good exchanges. (With Wenyi Fang, Song Zuo). IJCAI -2016. New York. USA. PDF.

1.      Abstract presented in AAMAS-16

i)        Facility location with minimax envy. (With Qingpeng Cai, Aris-Filos Ratsikas). IJCAI -2016. New York. USA. PDF.

j)        Optimizing trading assignments in water right markets. (With Yicheng Liu, Tingting Xu, Hang Zheng) AAAI-2016. Phoenix, USA. PDF.

1.      AI for social goods, computational sustainability

k)     Mechanism design and implementation for lung exchange. (with Suiqian Luo) IJCAI-2015, Buenos Aires, Argentina. PDF. Media press paper. Top 4 among all papers

l)        Mechanism design for resource allocation with applications to centralized multi-commodity routing. (with Qipeng Liu, Yicheng Liu) Extended abstract, AAMAS-2015, Istanbul, Turkey. Full version.

m)   Randomized assignments for barter exchanges: fairness vs. efficiency. (With Wenyi Fang, Aris Filos-Ratskas, Soren Stiil-Fredriksen, Song Zuo). ADT-2015, Kentucky, USA. PDF.

n)     Internally stable matchings and exchanges. (with Yicheng Liu and Wenyi Fang). AAAI-2014. Quebec City, Canada. PDF.

1.      Presented at Informs-14

o)      Egalitarian Pair-wise Kidney Exchange: Fast Algorithms via Linear Programming and Parametric Flow. (With Jian Li, Yicheng Liu). AAMAS-2014. Paris, France. PDF.

p)     Mechanism design for route allocation in multiple-commodity network. (With Qipeng Liu and Yicheng Liu). AAMAS-2014. Paris, France. PDF.

q)     Approximation of barter exchanges with cycle length constraints. Working paper. PDF.


Beyond Nash equilibrium: computation in games, bounded rationality in repeated games

a)      Unit-sphere games. (With Hanrui Zhang). International Journal of Game Theory, 2017 PDF.

b)     K-memory strategies in repeated games. (With Lijie Chen, Fangzhen Lin, Kangning Wang, Shiheng Wang, Ruosong Wang). AAMAS-2017 extended abstract.

c)      Computational issues in time-inconsistent planning. (With Yifeng Teng, Zihe Wang, Shengke Xiao, Yichong Xu). AAAI-2017. PDF.

d)     Bounded rationality of restricted Turing machines. (with Lijie Chen, Ruosong Wang), AAAI-2017. PDF. Full version.

1.      Subsume the AAMAS extended abstract below

e)      Complexity and algorithms of K-implementation. (With Yuan Deng, Shuran Zheng). AAMAS-2016. Singapore, PDF.

f)       Bounded rationality of restricted Turing machines. (with Lijie Chen), Extended abstract AAMAS-2015, Istanbul, Turkey.

g)     Optimal machine strategy to commit to in two-person repeated games. (with Song Zuo). AAAI-2015, Austin, USA. PDF


Worst case analysis of mechanism design, online mechanism design

1.      Efficient mechanism design for online scheduling (Extended abstract). (With Bo Zheng et. al.) IJCAI-2017.

2.      Efficient mechanism design for online scheduling. (With Bo Zheng et. al.). Journal of AI Research, 2016. Link.

3.      Online non-preemptive story scheduling in web advertising. (With Tie-Yan Liu, Weidong Ma, Tao Qin, Guang Yang, Bo Zheng). AAMAS-2016, Singapore, PDF.

4.      The multi-shop ski rental problem. (With Lingqing Ai, Xian Wu, Lingxiao Huang, Longbo Huang, Jian Li). ACM Sigmetrics-2014. Austin, USA. PDF.


Computer-aided theorem discovery in economic theory (PhD dissertation work)

a)      Discovering Theorems in Game Theory: Two-Person Games with Unique Nash Equilibria Payoff. (With Fangzhen Lin). Artificial Intelligence, 2011.PDF.Link.

1.      Using AI techniques to automatically discover and prove theorems in game theory

b)     Computer-aided Theorem Discovery - A New Adventure and its Application to Economic Theory. PhD dissertation, HKUST, 2010. PDF.

c)      Two Equivalence Results for Two-person Strict Games. (With Fangzhen Lin) Games and Economic Behavior, 2011. PDF. Link..

1.      Potential games and Super-modular games are equivalent

d)     Discovering Theorems in Game Theory: Two-Person Games with Unique Nash Equilibria Payoff. (With Fangzhen Lin). In IJCAI-2009, July, Pasadena, USA. PDF.

e)      Computer Aided Proofs of Arrows and Other Impossibility Theorems. (With Fangzhen Lin) Artificial Intelligence, 2009. PDF. Link.

1.      This paper initiates automated theorem discovery in economics

f)       Coalitional Structure of the Muller-Satterthwaite Theorem. (With Tuomas Sandholm). CoopMas-2012, June, Valencia, Spain. PDF.

g)     Computer Aided Proofs of Arrows and Other Impossibility Theorems. (With Fangzhen Lin) In AAAI-2008, July, Chicago, USA. PDF

h)     Computer-Aided Proofs of Theorems in Implementation Theory. (With Fangzhen Lin) Draft. PDF


Game theory in sports: Team competition

1.      On the power of dominated players in team competitions. (With Kai Jin, Shiteng Chen). AAMAS-2016. Singapore, PDF.

2.      Designing Competitions between Teams of Individuals. (With Yoav Shoham and Fangzhen Lin). Artificial Intelligence, 2010. PDF. Link.

3.      Team Competition. (With Yoav Shoham and Fangzhen Lin) In AAMAS-2009, May, Budapest, Hungary. PDF

4.      Two-person Bridge. (With Yiling Chen) Working paper.

Social choice theory, Voting

1.      Bayesian vote manipulation: optimal strategies and impact on welfare. (with Craig Boutilier, Tyler Lu, Ariel Procaccia), UAI-2012, Catalina Island, US. PDF

2.      A Framework for Quantitative Evaluation of Voting Rules. (With Mike Munie, Yoav Shoham). In Logic, Game Theory and Social Choice (LGS6), 2009. PDF 


Survey articles in Chinese

1.      Economics and Computation. (in Chinese) Communication of CCF, 2017. PDF.

2.      Review of the AAMAS-16 conference. (in Chinese, with Bo An) Communication of CCF, 2016. PDF.

3.     Computational economics and optimal mechanism design. (in Chinese) Communication of CCF, 2013. PDF.


PhD students:

Yulong Zeng (5th year) Song Zuo (5th year)

Qingpeng Cai (4th year) Weiran Shen (4th year)

Shenke Xiao (3rd year) Mengjing Chen (2nd year)

Xun Wang (1st year) Yadong Xu (1st year)

Master students:

Yuanqi Li (1st year)


1.      Zihe Wang PhD graduated in 2016. PhD dissertation: Geometric approaches to auction design. First job: Shanghai Univ. of Fina. and Econ.(上海财经大学)

2.      Bo Zheng PhD graduated in 2016. PhD dissertation: Incentive compatible online scheduling for cloud computing. First job: Government of Ningbo (宁波市政府)

3.      Wenyi Fang Master graduated in 2016. First job: China construction bank (中国建设银行总行)

4.      Yicheng Liu Master graduated in 2016. First Job: Airbnb

5.      Suiqian Luo Master graduated in 2016. First job: Credit-Ease (宜信金融)

Undergraduate students:

Yao Class 2017: Hanrui Zhang, Shuran Zheng

Yao Class 2016: Yu Xia (PhD student at MIT), An Yi (Master student at UCSD)

Yao Class 2015: Yuan Deng (PhD student at Duke) Qipeng Liu (PhD student at Princeton) Yifeng Teng (PhD student at U-Wisconsin) Shengke Xiao (PhD student at Tsinghua) Yichong Xu (PhD student at CMU)

Yao Class-2014: Weiyi Chen (master student, NYU) Ning Jiang(Master student, UMich) Junxing Wang (PhD student at CMU) Qianru Zhu (Master at CMU)


1.   NSFC-ISF joint project (China - Israel), Information brokers in multi-agent systems and mechanism design. 2015 - 2018. Principal investigator.

2.   NSFC project. Optimal mechanism design: two computational approaches. 2014 - 2016. Principal investigator.

3.   Tsinghua initiative research program. Optimal mechanism design. 2014 – 2016. Principal investigator.

4.   National 1000-youth program. 2014. Principal investigator.