Mechanism design is the study of algorithm design where the inputs to the algorithm are controlled by strategic agents, who must be incentivized to faithfully report them. Unlike typical programmatic properties, it is not sufficient for algorithms to merely satisfy the property-incentive properties are only useful if the strategic agents also believe this fact.
Verification is an attractive way to convince agents that the incentive properties actually hold, but mechanism design poses several unique challenges: interesting properties can be sophisticated relational properties of probabilistic computations involving expected values, and mechanisms may rely on other probabilistic properties, like differential privacy, to achieve their goals.
We introduce a relational refinement type system, called HOARe2, for verifying mechanism design and differential privacy. We show that HOARe2 is sound w.r.t. a denotational semantics, and correctly models (ε,δ)-differential privacy; moreover, we show that it subsumes DFuzz, an existing linear dependent type system for differential privacy. Finally, we develop an SMT-based implementation of HOARe2 and use it to verify challenging examples of mechanism design, including auctions and aggregative games, and new proposed examples from differential privacy.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the 42nd annual ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT symposium on principles of programming languages|
|Place of Publication||New York|
|Publisher||Association for Computing Machinery|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 14 Jan 2015|
|Event||42nd Annual ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages, POPL 2015 - Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India, Mumbai, India|
Duration: 12 Jan 2015 → 18 Jan 2015
|Conference||42nd Annual ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages, POPL 2015|
|Period||12/01/15 → 18/01/15|
- Probabilistic programming
- Program logics