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Contest Theory
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction and preview; 2. Standard all-pay contests; 3. Rank order allocation of prizes; 4. Smooth allocation of prizes; 5. Simultaneous contests; 6. Utility sharing and social welfare; 7. Sequential contests; 8. Tournaments; 9. Rating systems; 10. Ranking methods; 11. Appendices.

Promotional Information

Using a game-theoretic framework, this unified, comprehensive treatment of contest design in economics and computer science focuses on online applications.

About the Author

Milan Vojnovic is a researcher with Microsoft Research, Cambridge, United Kingdom. He is also an affiliated lecturer at the University of Cambridge, with a courtesy appointment with the Statistical Laboratory. He obtained a Ph.D. in technical sciences from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland, with a thesis on resource allocation problems in internet networks. He has won several awards for his work, including the 2005 ERCIM Cor Baayen award and the 2010 ACM SIGMETRICS Rising Star Researcher Award.

Reviews

'Contest theory, including the war of attrition, winner-take-all competition, and tournaments, has recently received renewed attention, due to its applicability to online rating systems, platform competition, and other internet phenomena. Milan Vojnovic's book is a delightful and thorough examination of the state of the art in contest modeling, for economists and computer scientists alike.' Preston McAfee, Microsoft
'Contests arise in a diverse range of applications, and are of interest to economists, computer scientists, and statisticians. This text provides a comprehensive and engaging treatment of both traditional areas, including innovation prizes, tournaments, and ranking methods, and of recent developments motivated by crowdsourcing and other online services.' Frank Kelly, University of Cambridge
'Contest platforms are gaining in prominence as methods to harness the skills of large communities in solving difficult problems. But how should contests be designed - winner-take-all or with multiple prizes, with a single round or multiple rounds, and with sealed or open submissions? Milan Vojnovic guides us through these and other questions, providing a careful and unified discussion of the theory of contest design that will be valuable to students and practitioners alike.' David C. Parkes, Harvard University
'Contests: pay now, maybe win later! In his unique book, Contest Theory, Milan Vojnovic pulls together material from game theory, mechanism design, operations research, and statistics to cover everything contest designers need to know. The presentation is rigorous yet accessible and benefits from many enlightening examples and helpful illustrations.' Thore Graepel, University College London
"Contest theory, including the war of attrition, winner-take-all competition, and tournaments, has recently received renewed attention, due to its applicability to online rating systems, platform competition, and other internet phenomena. Milan Vojnovic's book is a delightful and thorough examination of the state of the art in contest modeling, for economists and computer scientists alike." Preston McAfee, Microsoft
"Contests arise in a diverse range of applications, and are of interest to economists, computer scientists, and statisticians. This text provides a comprehensive and engaging treatment of both traditional areas, including innovation prizes, tournaments, and ranking methods, and of recent developments motivated by crowdsourcing and other online services." Frank Kelly, University of Cambridge
"Contest platforms are gaining in prominence as methods to harness the skills of large communities in solving difficult problems. But how should contests be designed - winner-take-all or with multiple prizes, with a single round or multiple rounds, and with sealed or open submissions? Milan Vojnovic guides us through these and other questions, providing a careful and unified discussion of the theory of contest design that will be valuable to students and practitioners alike." David C. Parkes, Harvard University
"Contests: pay now, maybe win later! In his unique book, Contest Theory, Milan Vojnovic pulls together material from game theory, mechanism design, operations research, and statistics to cover everything contest designers need to know. The presentation is rigorous yet accessible and benefits from many enlightening examples and helpful illustrations." Thore Graepel, University College London

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