Costis Daskalakis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Training deep neural nets to be strategic
Jan 29, 2024, 4:30 pm5:30 pm


Event Description


Many outstanding challenges in Deep Learning lie at its interface with Game Theory: from playing difficult games like Go to robustifying classifiers against adversarial attacks, training deep generative models, and training DNN-based models to interact with each other and with humans. In these applications, the utilities of the agents are non-concave in the parameters of the underlying DNNs; as a result, many standard notions of equilibrium fail to exist, and game-theoretic analysis becomes inadequate. So how does one train DNNs to be strategic? And what is even the goal of the training? We shed light on these challenges through a combination of learning-theoretic, complexity-theoretic, game-theoretic and topological techniques, presenting obstacles and opportunities for Deep Learning and Game Theory going forward.


Constantinos (aka "Costis") Daskalakis is the Avanessians Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. He holds a Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, and a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley. He works on Computation Theory and its interface with Game Theory, Economics, Probability Theory, Machine Learning and Statistics. He has resolved long-standing open problems about the computational complexity of Nash equilibrium, and the mathematical structure and computational complexity of multi-item auctions. His current work focuses on multi-agent learning, high-dimensional statistics, learning from biased and dependent data, causal inference and econometrics. He has been honored with the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award, the Kalai Prize from the Game Theory Society, the Sloan Fellowship in Computer Science, the SIAM Outstanding Paper Prize, the Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship, the Simons Investigator Award, the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize from the International Mathematical Union, the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award, the Bodossaki Foundation Distinguished Young Scientists Award, the ACM SIGECOM Test of Time Award, and the FOCS 2022 Test of Time Award. He is an ACM fellow, holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Patras, and was awarded the Golden Cross of the Order of the Redeemer by the Greek President. He has served in the scientific and advisory board of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing (2018-2020), and as the head of the theory of computation group at MIT (2018-2022). He is a co-founder of Archimedes AI research center where he maintains the role of chief scientist.

Event Category
Distinguished Lecture Series