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Creators/Authors contains: "Frazier, Peter"

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 2, 2023
  3. We consider epidemiological modeling for the design of COVID-19 interventions in university populations, which have seen significant outbreaks during the pandemic. A central challenge is sensitivity of predictions to input parameters coupled with uncertainty about these parameters. Nearly 2 y into the pandemic, parameter uncertainty remains because of changes in vaccination efficacy, viral variants, and mask mandates, and because universities’ unique characteristics hinder translation from the general population: a high fraction of young people, who have higher rates of asymptomatic infection and social contact, as well as an enhanced ability to implement behavioral and testing interventions. We describe an epidemiological model that formed the basis for Cornell University’s decision to reopen for in-person instruction in fall 2020 and supported the design of an asymptomatic screening program instituted concurrently to prevent viral spread. We demonstrate how the structure of these decisions allowed risk to be minimized despite parameter uncertainty leading to an inability to make accurate point estimates and how this generalizes to other university settings. We find that once-per-week asymptomatic screening of vaccinated undergraduate students provides substantial value against the Delta variant, even if all students are vaccinated, and that more targeted testing of the most social vaccinated students providesmore »further value.« less
  4. We consider information design in spatial resource competition, motivated by ride sharing platforms sharing information with drivers about rider demand. Each of N co-located agents (drivers) decides whether to move to another location with an uncertain and possibly higher resource level (rider demand), where the utility for moving increases in the resource level and decreases in the number of other agents that move. A principal who can observe the resource level wishes to share this information in a way that ensures a welfare-maximizing number of agents move. Analyzing the principal’s information design problem using the Bayesian persuasion framework, we study both private signaling mechanisms, where the principal sends personalized signals to each agent, and public signaling mechanisms, where the principal sends the same information to all agents. We show: 1) For private signaling, computing the optimal mechanism using the standard approach leads to a linear program with 2 N variables, rendering the computation challenging. We instead describe a computationally efficient two-step approach to finding the optimal private signaling mechanism. First, we perform a change of variables to solve a linear program with O(N^2) variables that provides the marginal probabilities of recommending each agent move. Second, we describe an efficient samplingmore »procedure over sets of agents consistent with these optimal marginal probabilities; the optimal private mechanism then asks the sampled set of agents to move and the rest to stay. 2) For public signaling, we first show the welfare-maximizing equilibrium given any common belief has a threshold structure. Using this, we show that the optimal public mechanism with respect to the sender-preferred equilibrium can be computed in polynomial time. 3) We support our analytical results with numerical computations that show the optimal private and public signaling mechanisms achieve substantially higher social welfare when compared with no-information and full-information benchmarks.« less