Auction Theory and Market Design (IN2211)

Mete Ahunbay PhD

Eleni Batziou M.Sc. · Dmitrij Boschko M.Sc. · Laura Mathews M.Sc. · Matthias Oberlechner M.Sc. · Fabian Pieroth M.Sc.

Intended learning outcomes

The field of market design studies how to construct rules for allocating resources or to structure successful marketplaces. It draws on the tools of game theory and mechanism design to identify why certain market rules or institutions succeed and why others fail. The field has become popular in the recent years with many applications in the sale of spectrum licenses, electricity markets, or the assignment of students to courses. 

After participating in the course, the participants understand methods and game-theoretical models of auctions as well as the fundamental problems in the design of combinatorial auctions. They are able to assess the properties of different auction formats, and the results of theoretical and experimental analyses.


Students should be familiar with linear and integer optimization. The lecture on algorithmic game theory provides complementary concepts in game theory. The course is not solely applied, and students are expected to be able to write mathematical proofs. A rudimentary understanding of probability, calculus and linear algebra (especially as it pertains to linear programming) is also expected. While the course touches upon issues on complexity, such discussions are self-contained and a background in algorithms and complexity is not required.


  • Lectures and tutorial classes will be given on-site, but streamed via TUM-Live such that students can access from remote.

  • Lectures: Wednesdays, 14:00 - 16:30, TUM Department of Informatics, Garching-Forschungszentrum, MI Hörsaal 2 (00.04.011).

  • Tutorial: Thursday, 16:15 - 18:00 TUM Department of Informatics, Garching-Forschungszentrum, MI Hörsaal 2 (00.04.011)

  • Final examination: February 3rd, 2023


Topic Lecture Exercise
Basics of IP / LP no lecture October 27th
Introduction to Game Theory October 26th November 3rd
More Game Theory, Introduction to Social Choice November 2nd November 10th
Matching Markets November 9th November 17th
Mechanism Design with Money, Single-Item Auctions November 16th November 24th
Revenue Maximization & Myerson’s Optimal Auction November 23rd December 8th
Combinatorial Auctions November 30th December 15th
Topics lecture: Electricity Markets, Approximation Mechanisms December 7th no exercise
Approximation Mechanisms December 14th December 22nd
Price of Stability / Anarchy and their Computation December 21st January 12th
Assignment Markets January 11th January 19th
Iterative Combinatorial Auctions January 18th no exercise
Iterative Combinatorial Auctions January 25th January 26th
Topics lecture: Learning in Auctions February 1st no exercise


  • Slides: will be made available before each class in the eLearning plattform Moodle.

  • Registration for the lecture and exercise opens on September 26th.

  • You have to be registered for the lecture to get access to the Moodle course.



Mete Ahunbay PhD
Room 01.10.059
Phone: 289 - 17502
Laura Mathews
Room 01.10.058
Phone: 289 - 17528