Seminar Learning in Games

(IN2107, IN0014, IN2396)

Supervision: Prof. Dr. Martin Bichler, Mete Şeref Ahunbay.

Game Theory concerns itself with the strategic interactions of multiple decision-makers. In this seminar, we will explore the subfield of Learning in Games, where these decision-makers are agents that learn to adapt their strategies in order to maximize their own expected utility. As such, this topic is located at the intersection of Game Theory and Machine Learning, particularly Multi-Agent Learning. In recent years, there has been renewed interest as well as big breakthroughs in this field, fueled by the advent of more powerful computation and deep learning on the one hand, as well as the increasing deployment of autonomous systems (bots) in the economy. Particular topics explored in this seminar may range from theory (e.g. Equilibria and Game Dynamics, Complexity, Evaluation of Agent Strength), algorithms (e.g. Counterfactual Regret Minimization, AlphaZero), and applications (e.g. superhuman AI for Board Games; economical applications such as Automated Mechanism Design, or Equilibrium Computation in Auctions).

Credit: Stock picture,

Introduction and Q&A meeting

There will be a brief Zoom meeting for an introduction to the contents / structure of the seminar, as well as questions and answers, on 6th February at 2:00 pm. The meeting with be accessible via: 

Previous Knowledge Expected

Basic knowledge of Game Theory (e.g. from IN2239 Algorithmic Game Theory), machine learning (e.g. IN2028 Business Analytics & Machine Learning, or IN2064 Machine Learning). Students will also need a firm grasp of mathematical foundations like calculus (MA0902 / MA0001), and probability theory (IN0018, MA0009 / MA1109).


  • IN2107 (Master Seminar in the Master program Informatik).
  • IN0014 (Seminar in the Bachelor programs Informatik, Wirtschaftsinformatik).
  • For all other programs: Please check first whether this seminar fits in your curriculum.

Teaching and Learning Method

The emphasis in this seminar lies in the independent study of classic papers, as well as recent new results in the fields of Algorithmic Game Theory and Multi-Agent Learning. Each student will be assigned an individual topic and prepare a presentation as well as a short summary paper. We will have biweekly presentation meetings throughout the semester with two topics being presented in each meeting. Attendance of all meetings is mandatory, and interaction with the other students' work is expected.

Except for the "Introduction and Q&A" meeting - (and potentially an initial meeting on topic assignment) - all meetings will be on campus.

Course Criteria and Registration

The seminar is primarily aimed at MSc students in Computer Science and adjacent degree programs such as Information Systems, Data Science, or Mathematics. In case there is remaining capacity available, applications from BSc students will also be considered.

All students (from all schools) must apply for the seminar via e-mail (see below) AND via the School of CIT's matching system in the "Seminar SS24" matching instance. (Additional information here.)

Additionally, please send a current transcript of records to Mete Ahunbay via e-mail within the registration deadline of the matching system. If you want to let us know anything else, feel free to let us know in the e-mail (e.g., your motivation to participate in this seminar, any experience relevant to the seminar outside of university courses, relevant classes in WS23/24 that aren't listed on your ToR.)

Recommended Reading

Recommended reading will be assigned individually.


The grade will be calculated as follows:

  • 60% your presentation
  • 25% your handout / abstract paper
  • 15% your score on the quizzes


The slides from the Introduction and Q&A meeting can be found here.