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Department of Mathematical Sciences: Statistics & Probability Group


Statistics Seminars

Seminars are usually held on Monday at 14:00 in CM221, but you should check the seminar details for exceptions. Contact for more information about this seminar series.

A New Graphical approach to Bayesian Games

Presented by Peter Thwaites, University of Leeds

20 November 2017 14:00 in CM221

Many Bayesian games can be readily represented by graphical structures such as MAIDS
(Multi-agent influence diagrams). But the development of these representations has coincided
with concerns expressed regarding the application of Bayesian game theory to real
problems. This talk focuses on two of these concerns. Firstly, a player may assume that
an opponent is subjective expected utility maximizing (SEUM), but in many real games it is
improbable that they can know the exact quantitative form of this opponent’s utility function.
Secondly, many common Bayesian games have highly asymmetric game trees, and cannot
be fully or efficiently represented by a MAID.
To address these concerns we suggest the use of CEGs (Chain Event Graphs). These
were introduced in 2008 (Smith & Anderson, Artificial Intelligence) for the modelling of
probabilistic problems exhibiting significant asymmetry. They encode the conditional independence/
Markov structure of these problems completely through their topology, and have
been successfully used for both causal and decision analysis. We show here how causal
CEGs can be used to model asymmetric games. The players know the structure of the game,
but not the exact forms of other players’ utilities, and are SEUM conditioned on the information
available to them each time they make a decision. This means our solution technique
does not in general compute subgame perfect Nash equilibria, but the solutions reached will
be those that each player believes exists. We illustrate our ideas with an example of a game
between a government department and a group trying to radicalise members of the population.
The work in this talk is described in more detail in Thwaites & Smith: A graphical
method for simplifying Bayesian Games, Reliability Engineering and System Safety, 2017.

Contact for more information

Presented by Codina Cotar, UCL

27 November 2017 14:00 in CM221

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Presented by John Aldrich, University of Southampton

4 December 2017 14:00 in CM221

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The strong renewal theorem

Presented by Ron Doney, University of Manchester

11 December 2017 14:00 in CM221

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Other seminar series

RSS North East Local Group seminars

The North Eastern Local Group of the Royal Statistical Society organises an annual programme of meetings and events allowing statisticians across the North East of England to meet and discuss topics of interest. The meetings are free to attend and non-members are always welcome. Meetings are typically held in Durham or Newcastle.

The program of these regular meetings can be found at the Royal Statistical Society North Eastern Local Group home page.

Postgraduate Seminars

These seminars offer an opportunity to find out more about what other postgraduates in the department are studying and help the speakers to improve their presentation skills in an informal atmosphere. Occasionally, postgraduate seminars are given by a member of staff. The postgraduate seminar will start in Epiphany term 2014 under the title "Stats4Grads". Postgraduates from the Statistics and Probability group, as well as from other groups and Departments, are more than welcome to attend, and to present their work with quantitative focus to a postgraduate audience.

Please see details at the Stats4Grads webpage.

Postgraduate Training Weeks

The Statistics group runs a series of postgraduate training weeks jointly organized with Newcastle University, which include lectures, seminar talks by guest speakers, computer practicals, and also seminar talks by postgraduate students. Six different training courses are offered in a 3-year-cycle, covering Multivariate Distributions (Newcastle), Smoothing (Durham), Statistical Computing (Newcastle), Foundations of Statistics (Durham), Design (Newcastle), and Modelling (Durham).