Abstract:
The SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) play important role in the economy. However, the financing problem is a big difficulty, which has plagued the SMEs’ development. Information asymmetry is the main reason for the SMEs’ gaining funds so hard. The information asymmetry between banks and enterprises is that banks do not know the operating conditions and credit situation of SMEs. Then, to some extent, the banks are reluctant to support credit for businesses under the circumstance of lacking appropriate information, resulting in a “credit crunch” behavior. Therefore, the main measures of solving SMEs’ financing difficulty are to overcome the information asymmetry in the process of SME financing by establishing effective information mechanisms, the credibility and restraint mechanisms, strengthening the construction of credit rating agencies, and promoting the mutual exchange of information.

Abstract:
We consider optimal mechanism design for the case with one buyer and two items. The buyer's valuations towards the two items are independent and additive. In this setting, optimal mechanism is unknown for general valuation distributions. We obtain two categories of structural results that shed light on the optimal mechanisms. The first category of results state that, under certain mild condition, the optimal mechanism has a monotone menu. In other words, in the menu that represents the optimal mechanism, as payment increases, the allocation probabilities for both items increase simultaneously. Applying this theorem, we derive a version of revenue monotonicity theorem that states stochastically superior distributions yield more revenue. Moreover, our theorem subsumes a previous result regarding sufficient conditions under which bundling is optimal. The second category of results state that, under certain conditions, the optimal mechanisms have few menu items. Our first result in this category says, for certain distributions, the optimal menu contains at most 4 items. The condition admits power (including uniform) density functions. Based on a similar proof of this result, we are able to obtain a wide class of distributions where bundling is optimal. Our second result in this category works for a weaker condition, under which the optimal menu contains at most 6 items. This condition includes exponential density functions. Our last result in this category works for unit-demand setting. It states that, for uniform distributions, the optimal menu contains at most 5 items. All these results are in sharp contrast to Hart and Nisan's recent result that finite-sized menu cannot guarantee any positive fraction of optimal revenue for correlated valuation distributions.

Abstract:
This paper introduces a class of games, called unit-sphere games, where strategies are real vectors with unit 2-norms (or, on a unit-sphere). As a result, they can no longer be interpreted as probability distributions over actions, but rather be thought of as allocations of one unit of resource to actions and the multiplicative payoff effect on each action is proportional to square-root of the amount of resource allocated to that action. The new definition generates a number of interesting consequences. We first characterize sufficient and necessary conditions under which a two-player unit-sphere game has a Nash equilibrium. The characterization effectively reduces solving a unit-sphere game to finding all eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the product of individual payoff matrices. For any unit-sphere game with non-negative payoff matrices, there always exists a unique Nash equilibrium; furthermore, the unique equilibrium is efficiently reachable via Cournot adjustment. In addition, we show that any equilibrium in positive unit-sphere games corresponds to approximate equilibria in the corresponding normal-form games. Analogous but weaker results are extended to positive n-player unit-sphere games.

Abstract:
We are interested in the problem of optimal commitments in rank-and-bid based auctions, a general class of auctions that include first price and all-pay auctions as special cases. Our main contribution is a novel approach to solve for optimal commitment in this class of auctions, for any continuous type distributions. Applying our approach, we are able to solve optimal commitments for first-price and all-pay auctions in closed-form for fairly general distribution settings. The optimal commitments functions in these auctions reveal two surprisingly opposite insights: in the optimal commitment, the leader bids passively when he has a low type. We interpret this as a credible way to alleviate competition and to collude. In sharp contrast, when his type is high enough, the leader sometimes would go so far as to bid above his own value. We interpret this as a credible way to threat. Combing both insights, we show via concrete examples that the leader is indeed willing to do so to secure more utility when his type is in the middle. Our main approach consists of a series of nontrivial innovations. In particular we put forward a concept called equal-bid function that connects both players' strategies, as well as a concept called equal-utility curve that smooths any leader strategy into a continuous and differentiable strategy. We believe these techniques and insights are general and can be applied to similar problems.

Abstract:
We formulate and study the algorithmic mechanism design problem for a general class of resource allocation settings, where the center redistributes the private resources brought by individuals. Money transfer is forbidden. Distinct from the standard literature, which assumes the amount of resources brought by an individual to be public information, we consider this amount as an agent's private, possibly multi-dimensional type. Our goal is to design truthful mechanisms that achieve two objectives: max-min and Pareto efficiency. For each objective, we provide a reduction that converts any optimal algorithm into a strategy-proof mechanism that achieves the same objective. Our reductions do not inspect the input algorithms but only query these algorithms as oracles. Applying the reductions, we produce strategy-proof mechanisms in a non-trivial application: network route allocation. Our models and result in the application are valuable on their own rights.

Abstract:
It is well-known that the Gale-Shapley algorithm is not truthful for all agents. Previous studies on this front mostly focus on blacklist manipulations by a single woman and by the set of all women. Little is known about manipulations by a coalition of women or other types of manipulations, such as manipulation by permuting preference lists. In this paper, we consider the problem of finding an equilibrium for a coalition of women (aka. liars) in the Gale-Shapley algorithm. We restrict attentions on manipulations that induce stable matchings. For the incomplete preference list setting, where liars can truncate their preference lists, we show that a strong Nash equilibrium always exists and the matching from such equilibria is unique. The equilibrium outcome is strongly Pareto dominant for all liars among the set of matchings achievable by manipulation: every woman is matched with the same man as the one she matches in her best single-agent manipulation. For the complete preference list setting where liars can permute their preference list, we first show that a coalition of women can get worse off by manipulating jointly than each performing a single-agent manipulation, thus a strongly Pareto-dominant outcome may not exist by manipulation. We then put forward an efficient algorithm to compute a strong Nash equilibrium that is strongly Pareto-optimal for all liars. We derive connections between the stable marriage problem and stable roommate problem, and use tools there to prove our results for this part. This approach is highly nontrivial and of independent interest.

Abstract:
Most analyses of manipulation of voting schemes have adopted two assumptions that greatly diminish their practical import. First, it is usually assumed that the manipulators have full knowledge of the votes of the nonmanipulating agents. Second, analysis tends to focus on the probability of manipulation rather than its impact on the social choice objective (e.g., social welfare). We relax both of these assumptions by analyzing optimal Bayesian manipulation strategies when the manipulators have only partial probabilistic information about nonmanipulator votes, and assessing the expected loss in social welfare (in the broad sense of the term). We present a general optimization framework for the derivation of optimal manipulation strategies given arbitrary voting rules and distributions over preferences. We theoretically and empirically analyze the optimal manipulability of some popular voting rules using distributions and real data sets that go well beyond the common, but unrealistic, impartial culture assumption. We also shed light on the stark difference between the loss in social welfare and the probability of manipulation by showing that even when manipulation is likely, impact to social welfare is slight (and often negligible).

Abstract:
Time-inconsistency refers to a paradox in decision making where agents exhibit inconsistent behaviors over time. Examples are procrastination where agents tends to costly postpone easy tasks, and abandonments where agents start a plan and quit in the middle. These behaviors are undesirable in the sense that agents make clearly suboptimal decisions over optimal ones. To capture such behaviors and more importantly, to quantify inefficiency caused by such behaviors, [Kleinberg & Oren 2014] propose a graph model which is essentially same as the standard planning model except for the cost structure. Using this model, they initiate the study of several interesting problems: 1) cost ratio: the worst ratio between the actual cost of the agent and the optimal cost, over all graph instances; 2) motivating subgraph: how to motivate the agent to reach the goal by deleting nodes and edges; 3) Intermediate rewards: how to motivate agents to reach the goal by placing intermediate rewards. Kleinberg and Oren give partial answers to these questions, but the main problems are still open. In fact, they raise these problems explicitly as open problems in their paper. In this paper, we give answers to all three open problems in [Kleinberg & Oren 2014]. First, we show a tight upper bound of cost ratio for graphs without Akerlof's structure, thus confirm the conjecture by Kleinberg and Oren that Akerlof's structure is indeed the worst case for cost ratio. Second, we prove that finding a motivating subgraph is NP-hard, showing that it is generally inefficient to motivate agents by deleting nodes and edges in the graph. Last but not least, we show that computing a strategy to place minimum amount of total reward is also NP-hard. Therefore, it is computational inefficient to motivate agents by placing intermediate rewards. The techniques we use to prove these results are nontrivial and of independent interests.

Abstract:
Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical characteristics and outcomes of critical patients with hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Materials and Methods To observe the demographic, epidemiological and clinical characteristics, and to explore the predictive effects for prognosis in laboratory findings, we conducted a detailed retrospective analysis of clinical records for critical patients with HFRS complicated by ARDS, treated at the center for infectious diseases, Tangdu Hospital, between January 2008 and December 2012. Results A total of 48 critical patients with laboratory confirmed HFRS accompanied by ARDS were enrolled in the study, including 27 survivors and 21 non-survivors, with a fatality rate of 43.75%. Thirty-one individuals (64.6%) contracted HFRS between the months of September and December. The non-survivors tended to have lower incidence of overlapping phase (P = 0.025). There were no obvious differences in the needs for mechanical ventilation (MV) and renal replacement therapy (RRT), except for the need for vasoactive drugs between the survivors and non-survivors (P = 0.001). The non-survivors were found to have higher frequencies of encephalopathy, refractory shock and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS), lower incidences of acute renal failure (ARF) and secondary hypertension (P<0.05). The non-survivors tended to have lower levels of serum creatinine (Scr) (P<0.001) and fibrinogen (Fib) (P = 0.003), higher incidences of prolonged prothrombin time (PT) (P = 0.006) and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) (P = 0.020) and higher levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) (P = 0.015), and the laboratory parameters mentioned above reached statistical significance for predicting prognosis (P<0.05). Conclusion The high mortality rate of critical patients with HFRS complicated by ARDS emphasizes the importance of clinicians’ alertness and timely initiation of systemic supportive therapy.