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A Unified Framework for Dynamic Pari-mutuel Information Market. Yinyu Ye Stanford University Joint work with Agrawal (CS), Delage (EE), Peters (MS&E), and Wang (MS&E). Outline. Information Market Pari-mutuel Information Market LP Pari-mutuel Mechanism Dynamic Pari-mutuel Mechanism

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A unified framework for dynamic pari mutuel information market

A Unified Framework for Dynamic Pari-mutuel Information Market

Yinyu Ye

Stanford University

Joint work with Agrawal (CS), Delage (EE), Peters (MS&E), and Wang (MS&E)


  • Information Market

  • Pari-mutuel Information Market

  • LP Pari-mutuel Mechanism

  • Dynamic Pari-mutuel Mechanism

  • Sequential Convex Pari-mutuel Mechanism

  • Desired Properties of SCPM and New Mechanism Design

  • Extensions to General Trading Market

What is information market
What is Information Market

  • A place where information is aggregatedvia market for the primary purpose of forecasting events.

  • Why:

    • Wisdom of the Crowds: Under the right conditions groups can be remarkably intelligent and possibly smarter than the smartest person.

      James Surowiecki

    • Efficient Market Hypothesis: financial markets are “informationally efficient”, prices reflect all known information

Sport betting market
Sport Betting Market

  • Market for Betting the World Cup Winner

    • Assume 5 teams have a chance to win the World Cup: Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Germany and France

Options for the market
Options for the Market

  • Double Auction: Let participants trade directly with one another

    • Requires participants to find someone to take the other side of their order (i.e.: the complement of the set of teams which they have selected)

    • Appropriate method for markets with small number of states and large number of participants

  • Centralized Market Maker

    • Introduce a market maker who will accept or reject orders that he receives from market participants

    • Market organizer may be exposed to some risk

    • This approach works better in thinly traded markets

      • Greater liquidity can be induced by allowing multi-lateral order matching

      • Lower transaction costs (no search costs for the participants)

  • Problem: How should the market organizer fill orders in such a manner that he is not exposed to any financial risk?

Central organization of the market
Central Organization of the Market

  • Belief-based

    • Central organizer will determine prices for each state based on his beliefs of their likelihood

    • This is similar to the manner in which fixed odds bookmakers operate in the betting world

    • Generally not self-funding

  • Pari-mutuel

    • A self-funding technique popular in horseracing betting.

  • Pari mutuel market model i

    Horse 1

    Horse 2

    Horse 3


    Total Amount Bet = $6

    Outcome: Horse 2 wins

    Winners earn $2 per bet plus stake back: Winners have stake returned then divide the winnings among themselves

    Pari-mutuel Market Model I

    • Definition

      • Etymology: French pari-mutuel, literally, mutual stakeA system of betting on races whereby the winners divide the total amount bet in proportion to the sums they have wageredindividually (after deducting management expenses).

    • Example: Parimutuel Horseracing Betting

    World cup betting market
    World Cup Betting Market

    • Market for World Cup Winner

      • We’d like to have a standard payout of $1 per share if a participant has a winning order.

    • Combinatorial Orders

    Pari mutuel market model ii
    Pari-mutuel Market Model II

    • Combinatorial Betting Language in the Market

      • N possible states of the world (one will be realized)

      • n participants who, traderk, submit orders to a market maker containing the following information:

        • ai,k - state bid (either 1 or 0)

        • πk– bid price per share

        • lk– limit on share quantity

    • Market maker will determine the following:

      • xk– order fill/# of awarded shares

      • pi – state price/beliefs/probabilities

  • Call or dynamic auction mechanism is used.

  • If an order is accepted and correct state is realized, market maker will pay the winning order a fixed amount $1 per share.

  • Research evolution

    Call Auction Mechanisms

    Dynamic Market Makers

    2002 – Bossaerts, Fine, and Ledyard

    Issues with double auctions that can lead to thinly traded markets

    Call auction mechanism can solve this problem

    2003 – Fortnow, Killian, Pennock and Wellman

    Solution technique for the call auction mechanism

    2005 – Lange and Economides

    Non-convex call auction formulation with unique state prices

    2005 – Peters, So and Y

    Convex programming of call auction with unique state prices

    2003 – Hanson

    Combinatorial information market design

    2004, 2006 – Pennock, Chen, and Dooley

    Dynamic Pari-mutuel market

    2007 – Chen and Pennock

    Cost function based market

    2007 – Peters, So and Y

    Dynamic market-maker implementation of call auction mechanism

    Research Evolution

    Lp pari mutuel market mechanism
    LP Pari-mutuel Market Mechanism

    Boosaerts et al. [2001], Lange and Economides [2001],

    Fortnow et al. [2003], Yang and Ng [2003], Peters et al. [2005], etc

    An LP pricing mechanism for the call auction market

    World cup betting results
    World Cup Betting Results

    Orders Filled

    State Prices

    Other issues
    Other Issues

    • How to make state prices unique

    • How to create initial funding to the market

    • How to incorporate the market maker’s own belief into the market

      Non-convex formulation with unique state prices/beliefs by Lange and Economides [2005]

    Belief based and risk neutral

    Expected extra profit

    Worst-case Profit

    Monetary profit retained by market maker on state i

    Market maker’s

    belief on state i

    Belief-Based and Risk Neutral

    This mechanism has a fixed price i for all i

    Belief based and risk averse

    Expected extra profit

    Worst-case Profit

    Belief-Based and Risk Averse

    b is a combination weight factor in [0 1]

    Convex pari mutuel market mechanism

    Expected total objective

    Monetary profit retained by market maker

    Market maker’s

    belief on state i

    Convex Pari-mutuel Market Mechanism

    Peters et al. [2005], etc

    Theorem(Peters et al. 2005) Convex programming of call auction has unique state prices p(b) that are identical to those of the non-convex formulation of Lange and Economides (2005).

    Utility maximization interpretation
    Utility-Maximization Interpretation

    Let the concave and increasing utility function be ln(.), and i be the market maker’s probability belief on state i. Then, the objective of the market maker is the worst case profit combined with an expected utility value of the contingent state realization. Here, b is a positive combination weight factor:

    Dynamic pari mutuel market model
    Dynamic Pari-mutuel Market Model

    • Traders come one by one with order (a, , l)

    • Market maker has to make an order-fill decision as soon as an order arrives

      • may need to accept bets that do not have a matching bet yet.

    • Market maker still hopes

      • to pay the winners almost completely from the stakes of losers

      • to update state prices reflect the traders' aggregated belief on outcome states

    Desirable properties of mechanisms
    Desirable Properties of Mechanisms

    • Efficient computation for price update

    • Truthfulness (in myopic sense)

      • Bidding true value of a bet should be dominant strategy for each trader (if he or she is a one-time trader)

    • Properness

      • A dominant strategy for traders is to place bets on outcome states so that resulting price reflects his or her true belief

      • stronger condition than truthfulness

    • Bounded worst-case loss

      • Net amount the market maker may have to pay the winners at the end

    • Risk attitude of the market-maker

      • Market organizer takes certain risk when accepting bets that are not matched by the current bets in the system

      • The risk attitude of market maker determines the dynamics of market

      • extreme risk averseness implies that no bet will ever get accepted.

    Background existing mechanisms i
    Background: Existing Mechanisms I

    • Market Scoring Rule

      • Traders report their beliefs/prices, p, on outcome states directly

      • Payment is determined by a scoring rule, si( p ), on reported price vector p in the probability simplex

        S={ p  0: ∑ pi=1 }

        For some positive constant b:

        Logarithmic Market Scoring Rule (LMSR)Hanson [2003]

        Quadratic Market Scoring Rule (QMSR)

    Market scoring rule
    Market Scoring Rule

    Suppose constant b=0.1 and you bet the distribution

    p=(0.2, 0.3, 0.2, 0.25, 0.05)

    on the five teams. Then, if Brazil wins, your reward for each share under (LMSR) is

    0.1ln(.3) + 1 = .87

    Background existing mechanisms ii
    Background: Existing Mechanisms II

    • Cost-Function Based Scoring Rule(Chen and Pennock 2007)

      • Trader submits an order quantity characterized by the vector v, where vi representsthe number of shares that the trader desires over state i

      • The total fee charge to the trader

        where C( q ) is a cost function of the current outstanding share quantity vector q.

      • Instantaneous price vector would be ∇C( q ) reflecting aggregated beliefs/probabilities.

    Background existing mechanisms iii
    Background: Existing Mechanisms III

    Theorem(Chen and Pennock 2007) Every scoring rule admits a cost-function representation, C(q), where

    • LMSR:

    • QMSR:

      Note that the quadratic cost scoring rule cannot guarantee the price/probability vector nonnegative

    Background existing mechanisms iv

    Sequential Convex Pari-mutuel Mechanism(Peters et al. 2007) for an arrival order (a,, l )

    where q is the current outstanding share quantity vector, e is the vector of all ones, and x it the order fill variable.

    Prices are the optimal Lagrange multipliers of the convex optimization problem

    Background: Existing Mechanisms IV

    Background existing mechanisms v
    Background: Existing Mechanisms V

    It turns out that one can use the KKT optimality conditions to create a quick update scheme to solve the SCPM model for an arrival order, instead of needing to solve the full convex program each time.

    Theorem(Peters et al. 2007) The SCPM problem can be solved in double-logarithmic time, that is, log log(1/ε) arithmetic operations.

    The computational complexity of the three described mechanisms are essentially identical.


    • What are the common features and differences among these mechanisms?

    • Why some properties are satisfied or unsatisfied by a mechanism?

      • What type of cost-functions imply a valid scoring rule?

    • How to compare and rationalize different mechanisms

    • Is there new and better mechanism yet to be discovered?

    In this work
    In this Work

    A unified framework is developed that

    • subsumes existing mechanisms

    • establishes necessary and sufficient conditions for satisfying certain desirable properties

    • provides a tool for designing new mechanisms with all desirable properties

    Unified pari mutuel market mechanism

    Generalized Sequential Convex Pari-mutuel Mechanism for an arrival order (a,, l )

    where q is the current outstanding share quantity vector, e is the vector of all ones, x it the order fill variable, and u(s) is any (expected) concave and increasing value function of slack shares retained by the market maker.

    Unified Pari-mutuel Market Mechanism

    Prices in scpm

    Market maker maximization principle: the unified framework is to balance market maker’s revenue from the arrival trader and (future) value

    Prices/beliefs are the optimal Lagrange multipliers of the convex optimization problem with maximizers (x*,s*,z*), and they are

    Prices in SCPM

    The main results

    Every scoring rule or cost function mechanism is the SCPM corresponding to a specific concave and increasing value function.

    Conversely, every concave and increasing value function in SCPM induces a scoring rule or cost function mechanism and can be truthfully implemented.

    The properties of the value function and its derivatives, such as boundedness, smoothness, span, etc, determine other desired or undesired properties of the mechanism, such as the worst-case loss, properness, risk-attitude, etc.

    The Main Results

    Value functions of existing mechanisms

    LMSR: corresponding to a specific



    Value Functions of Existing Mechanisms

    Other utilities
    Other Utilities corresponding to a specific

    • Linear-SCPM:

    • Min-SCPM:

    • Exp-SCPM:

    Truthfulness corresponding to a specific

    • Our unified framework is an affine maximizer of the form

      so that the general VCG scheme can be applied: let (x*,z*) be the maximizer of above, charge the trader by

    • Corollary (Agrawal et al. 2009)For fixed a and l, the one time trader will truthfully bet , his or her valuation of one share of a, in general SCPM.

    Efficient implementation
    Efficient Implementation corresponding to a specific

    • The VCG scheme involves solving a convex optimization problem

      as mentioned earlier, it can be solved efficiently in double-logarithmic time.

    Properness i
    Properness I corresponding to a specific

    • Definition The scoring rule s(.) is properif the optimal strategy for a selfish trader is to report his or her private beliefr, that is,

      In the cost-function market model, C(.) is proper if

      The scoring rule is strictly proper if r is the only maximizer.

    Properness ii
    Properness II corresponding to a specific

    • Proper Market Scoring Rule→SCPM

      Theorem(Agrawal et al. 2009)Any proper market scoring rule with cost function C( q ) can be formulated as SCPM with u( s ) = - C( - s )

    • SCPM →Proper Market Scoring Rule

      Theorem(Agrawal et al. 2009)The SCPM gives a proper market scoring rule if ∇u(.)spans the simplex S; and a strictly proper rule if u(.) is smooth. The SCPM also gives an implicit cost function:

    Properness iii
    Properness III corresponding to a specific

    • LMSR: Strictly proper

    • QMSR: Strictly proper

    • Log-SCPM: Strictly proper

    • Linear-SCPM: Not proper

    • Min-SCPM: Proper but not strictly

    • Exp-SCPM: Strictly proper

    Bounds on worst case loss i

    Definition corresponding to a specific Worst-case net amount that market maker may have to pay the winners.

    For outstanding share quantitiesq, the traders have paid

    Thus, the worst case loss of the market maker is given by a convex optimization problem

    Bounds on Worst-Case Loss I

    Bounds on worst case loss ii

    LMSR: corresponding to a specific


    Log-SCPM: unbounded

    Linear-SCPM: unbounded

    Min-SCPM: 0 (extreme risk averse)


    Bounds on Worst-Case Loss II

    Controllable risk measure i

    The return for market maker is corresponding to a specific random depending on the actual realization of states in question. Let c be the money collected so far and qi be the number of shares already sold on state i . Then, on accepting new order (a,, l ) with x shares, the return in statei is

    Theorem(Agrawal et al. 2009)The SCPM with concave and increasing value function is equivalent to choosing x in order to minimize a convex risk measure on random return z(i). Moreover, any convex risk measure can be used to construct an SCPM model with a corresponding concave value function.

    Controllable Risk Measure I

    Controllable risk measure ii

    The corresponding to a specific risk measure used is of form

    which considers the worst distribution p in terms of tradeoff between expected return and a penalty functionL(p).

    For many popular mechanisms, penalty functionL(p) represents divergence from a prior distribution, which presents an learning interpretation of various value functions used in SCPM.

    Controllable Risk Measure II

    Controllable risk measure iii

    LMSR: corresponding to a specific

    QMSR:has no controllable risk measure! This is due to the fact that the function is not monotone and it leads to negative prices


    Linear-SCPM: unbounded

    Min-SCPM: 0


    Controllable Risk Measure III

    Design of new mechanism i

    Neither corresponding to a specific existing mechanism is “perfect”:LMSR has a unboundedworst-case loss if the number of states is large, and Log-SCPM is even worse. QMSRhas no controllable risk measure and it even leads to negative “probabilities”, while Min-SCPMis overly conservative.

    To illustrate this point, we consider an information market where the number of states is exponentially large.

    Design of New Mechanism I

    Permutation betting market

    Realized Permutation Matrix corresponding to a specific




    Bid Matrix




    Permutation Betting Market

    (Agrawal et al. 2008)

    Proportional Betting Market

    Reward = $3

    Design of new mechanism ii
    Design of New Mechanism II corresponding to a specific

    Is there a “perfect” market mechanism?

    The answer is “yes” and the design tool is the unified SCPM.


    Desirable properties of quad scpm
    Desirable Properties of Quad-SCPM corresponding to a specific

    (Agrawal et al. 2009)

    • Efficient computation for price update: yes

    • Truthfulness (Myopic):yes

    • Properness:yes andstrictly

    • Bounded worst-case loss: identical to QMSR

    • Controllable risk measure of market-maker: yes

    General trading market lp mechanism
    General Trading Market: LP Mechanism corresponding to a specific

    bi: initial supply quantity of resource i;

    aik: demand rate of trader k on resource i;

    k: revenue per share from trade k;

    xk: decision variable of order fill for trader k.

    Sequential or dynamic trading market
    Sequential or Dynamic Trading Market corresponding to a specific

    • Traders come one by one; buy or sell, orcombination, with combinatorial bid(s)

      (A,, l)

    • Market maker has to make an order-fill decision as soon as an order arrives

    • Market maker still hopes

      • to maximize revenue or minimize regret

      • to enforce truthful bid prices 

      • to control “risk”

    Sequential trading market mechanism

    Arrival multiple bids corresponding to a specific (A,, l) from a trader

    where q is the resource quantity committed/sold toearlier traders, x it the order fill variable vector for the new orders, andu(s)is any concave and increasing value function of slack resource quantity,s, retained by the market maker.

    Sequential Trading Market Mechanism

    Prices in trading market mechanism

    Market maker maximization principle corresponding to a specific : to balance the immediate earning, x, and future revenue, u(s), with reserve prices p=∇u (b – q ).

    New (reserve) pricesare the optimal Lagrange multipliers of the convex optimization problem with maximizers (x*,s*), and they are

    Prices in Trading Market Mechanism

    Property design
    Property Design corresponding to a specific

    Chooseu(s)such that

    • to approximate future revenue and set reserve prices

    • to bound the worst case regret/revenue loss

    • to learn resource prices with risk measures

    • to establish a proper scoring rule

      Charge the trader such that

    • traders would bid truthfully

    (Work in Process, Agrawal et al. 2009)

    Contribution summaries
    Contribution Summaries corresponding to a specific

    • An SCPM model with necessary and sufficient conditions for desired properties, such as (myopic) truthfulness, properness, worst case loss bounds, risk measure, etc.

    • Unify and subsume existing mechanisms: LMSR, cost-function based market makers including “utility based market makers” of Chen et al. [2007]

    • Belong to affine maximization framework where the general VCG scheme is applicable

    • Provide an efficient and systematic tool for designing new mechanisms: Quad-SCPM

    • Applications to general trading markets and resource allocation

    Open questions
    Open Questions corresponding to a specific

    • Process of multiple combinatorial bids simultaneously while maintaining truthfulness and solution efficiency

    • Bounds on market maker’s revenue loss and/or regret for general trading markets

    • Mechanism to markets with large number of states/goods

    • Mechanism for general dynamic programming such as revenue or inventory management.