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[theory-seminar] Theory Lunch 9/15: Kira Goldner on The FedEx Problem

Megan Harris mharris at
Thu Sep 15 11:47:15 PDT 2016

Ruth and I will be attending a Admin lunch please make sure to clean up 
after yourselves and put the chairs and tables back.



On 9/15/16 11:45 AM, Andrea Lincoln wrote:
> Reminder for theory lunch at 12:15pm!
> On Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 2:14 PM, Ofir Geri <ofirgeri at 
> <mailto:ofirgeri at>> wrote:
>     Hi all,
>     This week at theory lunch we are going to have a talk by Kira
>     Goldner about The FedEx Problem.
>     Lunch is at 12:15, the talk starts at 12:30.
>     Hoping to see you there!
>     Title: The FedEx Problem
>     Speaker: Kira Goldner, University of Washington
>     Abstract:
>     Consider the following setting: a customer has a package and is
>     willing to pay up to some value v to ship it, but needs it to be
>     shipped by some deadline d. The customer is indifferent if the
>     package is shipped early. Given the joint prior distribution from
>     which (v, d) pairs are drawn, we characterize the auction that
>     yields optimal revenue, contributing to the very limited
>     understanding of optimal auctions beyond the single-parameter
>     setting. Our work also demonstrates the importance of 'ironing'
>     (and concavity) in revenue maximization, helping to illustrate why
>     randomization is necessary to achieve optimal revenue. Finally, we
>     strengthen the emerging understanding that duality is useful for
>     both the design and analysis of optimal auctions in
>     multi-parameter settings.
>     Joint work with Amos Fiat, Anna Karlin, and Elias Koutsoupias.

Megan D. Harris
Faculty Administrator
Computer Science
353 Serra Mall, Rm 479
Stanford, CA 94305

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