Saturday, July 12, 2008

ICALP Workshop on Matching

The surprise find at ICALP 2008 was the workshop on Matching Under Preferences– Algorithms and Complexity. It was organized by Magnús M. Halldórsson, Rob Irving, Kazuo Iwama, and David Manlove, and was one of the best workshops I have attended in theory conferences. A topic like matching under preferences, when explored by TCS people, faces the danger of becoming just algorithms for numerous variations of stable matching: discrete, probabilistic, stable roommates or whatever. But the organizers recognized the thriving community in Economics and Game Theory that has made significant contributions in this area and managed to attract several participants from that community. As a result, there were many talks on matching markets. The proceedings is online in pdf.

In particular, Al Roth, gave a fantastic talk on conceiving, starting and running the kidney exchange market in US. He spoke in equal parts the mathematician who has proved foundational results in matching market design and more (4-way exchanges suffice given the blood types and compatibilities), and an Engineer with experience with a real system (+law, +policy) for several years (2-way and 3-way exchanges are engineering challeges already). Truly inspiring!


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