2008 Poster Sessions : Coordination via Communication

Student Name : Paul Cuff and Haim Permuter
Advisor : Tom M. Cover
Research Areas: Information Systems
We consider the problem of coordinating actions of two or three agents by distributed communication when one of the actions is assigned randomly. Two objectives are considered, a "joint type" objective in which the set of actions must appear empirically to be distributed according to a desired joint distribution, and a "joint distribution" objective where the actions must actually be random according to the desired joint distribution, appropriate for a game theoretic setting. The "joint type" objective is related to source coding with a distortion constraint, and produces information theoretic solutions reminiscent of those in lossy source coding, but with the emphasis on setting up cooperative action by considering the set of joint distributions of achievable actions rather than a specific distortion constraint. For the "joint distribution" scenario, the notion of "common information," defined by Wyner, emerges.

Paul Cuff received his B.S. (2004) in Electrical Engineering from Brigham Young University and his M.S. (2006) in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, researching Information Theory under the direction of Tom Cover. He is a recipient of the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship and the Numerical Technologies Fellowship.

Haim Permuter received his B.Sc. (summa cum laude) and M.Sc. (summa cum laude) degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Ben-Gurion University, Israel, in 1997 and 2003, respectively. Between 1997 and 2004, he was an officer at a research and development unit of the Israeli Defense Forces. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, CA. He is a recipient of the Fullbright Fellowship and the Stanford Graduate Fellowship (SGF).