Keywords: Peer review, mechanism design, ranking, isotonic regression, utility, convex optimization
Abstract: I consider the setting where reviewers offer very noisy scores for a number of items for the selection of high-quality ones (e.g., peer review of large conference proceedings) whereas the owner of these items knows the true underlying scores but prefers not to provide this information. To address this withholding of information, in this paper, I introduce the Isotonic Mechanism, a simple and efficient approach to improving on the imprecise raw scores by leveraging certain information that the owner is incentivized to provide. This mechanism takes as input the ranking of the items from best to worst provided by the owner, in addition to the raw scores provided by the reviewers. It reports adjusted scores for the items by solving a convex optimization problem. Under certain conditions, I show that the owner's optimal strategy is to honestly report the true ranking of the items to her best knowledge in order to maximize the expected utility. Moreover, I prove that the adjusted scores provided by this owner-assisted mechanism are indeed significantly more accurate than the raw scores provided by the reviewers. This paper concludes with several extensions of the Isotonic Mechanism and some refinements of the mechanism for practical considerations.
Supplementary Material: pdf
Code Of Conduct: I certify that all co-authors of this work have read and commit to adhering to the NeurIPS Statement on Ethics, Fairness, Inclusivity, and Code of Conduct.