Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Report from Dagstuhl: Matching Under Preferences: Theory and Practice, Edited by Haris Aziz, Péter Biró, Tamás Fleiner, and Bettina Klaus

 Matching theory was alive and well during the pandemic. Here's a report of the (partially in person) Dagstuhl Seminar, July 25–30, 2021 – http://www.dagstuhl.de/21301

Report from Dagstuhl Seminar: Matching Under Preferences: Theory and Practice, Edited by Haris Aziz, Péter Biró, Tamás Fleiner, and Bettina Klaus

"This report documents the program and the outcomes of Dagstuhl Seminar 21301 “Matching Under Preferences: Theory and Practice”. The seminar featured a mixture of technical scientific talks, survey talks, open problem presentations, working group sessions, five-minute contributions (“rump session”), and a panel discussion. This was the first Dagstuhl seminar that was dedicated to matching under preferences.    


"The seminar was conducted in a hybrid manner, with 15 participants attending the seminar physically from the Dagstuhl center and 34 participants attending online.


"The four main focus topics of the workshop were the following ones.

1. Matching markets with distributional constraints,

2. Probabilistic and Fractional Matching,

3. Matching in online and dynamic settings, and

4. Matching Markets and machine learning."


As a sign of the times, this non-technical working group session caught my eye:

"4.1 Gender Terminology in Bipartite Stable Matching

Robert Bredereck (HU Berlin, DE) License Creative Commons BY 4.0 International license © Robert Bredereck

"Bipartite Stable Matching is classically presented as “Stable Marriage” with one side being men and the other side being women. Meant as illustration and not as proposal for real marriage, the many successful applications of the model are all in completely different domains. The classical terminology, however, can be easily misunderstood and becomes questionable at latest when one side behaves always passive while the other behaves always active, one site manipulates while the other is honest, there is external manipulation, or some couples are forced or forbidden.

"Participants of the seminar discussed the seriousness of these issues in particular in situations where people from outside the community are involved (teaching, grant proposals, etc.). To avoid misunderstanding many participants are using alternative terminologies:

"sportsmen ↔ sportswomen (mixed teams such as tennis)

"leaders ↔ followers (dancing)

"doctors ↔ hospitals

"student ↔ colleges

"workers ↔ companies

"workers ↔ apprentices

"mentors ↔ mentees

"While some of the alternatives even allow to keep using different grammatical gender for the two sides (and so allow to write easily comprehensible texts), other alternatives fit better with the manipulation setting. Some of these alternative terminologies are already established in more specialized or generalized settings of Stable Matching, but may still qualify for the illustration of Bipartite Stable Matching. Another possibility in use is to keep the marriage market terminology while clearly putting it into a historical context."


I've used many of these terms when describing matching, but I wonder if "leaders" and "followers" in the context of dancing will solve the problem that this discussion of terminology is aimed at...

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