20th Max Planck Advanced Course on the Foundations of Computer Science

20th Max Planck Advanced Course on the Foundations of Computer Science

19 - 23 August 2019, Saarbrücken, Germany

Games, Brains, and Distributed Computing

Networks of interacting agents are everywhere. Populations competing for resources, neurons in the brain, and computer networks are just a few examples that we encounter every day. In this year's edition of ADFOCS we will analyze networks from three different perspectives. By looking at networks in three very different contexts, we hope to find unifying ideas, and identify future challenges and promising approaches towards our understanding of networks, that can serve as a touchstone to bring these communities closer together. This summer school's scope is international, and its goal is to bring together leading researchers with international participants of graduate level and above.

No prior knowledge of distributed algorithms or algorithmic game theory is necessary to attend this course.

Christos Papadimitriou

Christos Papadimitriou

Columbia University

Game Dynamics, Computation in the Brain

Éva Tardos

Éva Tardos

Cornell University

Price of Anarchy and Game Dynamics

Pierre Fraigniaud

Pierre Fraigniaud

CNRS Paris

Distributed Algorithms

ADFOCS is organized by Stefano Leucci, Will Rosenbaum, and Cosmina Croitoru as part of the activities of the Algorithms and Complexity Group and the International Max Planck Research School of the Max Planck Institute for Informatics.


Please do not hesitate to contact us for any questions via email to

This year's ADFOCS features three lecturers, each of which will give three lectures and two exercise sessions. They will be distributed to eight blocks of about four hours. A typical morning or afternoon block will start with 1 1/2 hours of lecture, followed by 2 hours of exercises (in small groups without the lecturers). During the exercise periods, the respective lecturer will be around, as well as some fruits, snacks, and drinks.


The registration fee is EUR 130 for early registration (deadline July 19, 2019) and EUR 180 for late registration (after July 20, 2018).
This fee covers course material, lunches, and the excursion; it does not cover hotel accommodation.
We will provide some grants for graduate students and young researchers.

If you are a student (including PhD student) please register here: student registration
Otherwise please register here: regular registration

We will offer a limited number of travel grants for graduate students and young researchers.


If you wish to apply for a grant, please send an email with a brief CV (name, affiliation, complete address, education, publications, nationality, etc.);
Please have your supervisor at your institute send an email with a brief letter of recommendation, certifying in particular your relation with the topics in ADFOCS, before the deadline.

Note that the travel grant is meant to roughly cover your local expenses (hotel/youth hostel, registration); it will not be sufficient to cover flight costs!

Please send both emails to and indicate as subject "ADFOCS grant application". You will receive a confirmation of receipt of your application.


June 21, 2019, 24:00 Central European Summer Time (longest day of the year)
(By the deadline, we must receive both the CV and the letter of recommendation)


by June 28, 2019

The participants are responsible for their accommodation. In Saarbrücken per-night prices including taxes and breakfast typically range from EURO 20 (youth hostel, double room) to about 70 Euro (hotel, single room).


Traveling to Saarbrücken

You will probably try to reach Saarbrücken by train. If you have a flight to Frankfurt, this is extremely easy. There is a train station right in the terminal building. Trains run frequently. You have to buy a ticket before you board the train, and there you can also ask which trains to take.

If you are a group of people, note that there is a special offer called "Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket" (nice week-end ticket) for sundays and saturdays. It costs 44 Euros (or 42 at the machines) and entitles up to 5 people to travel a whole day on all local trains ("S-Bahn" (S), "Regional-Express" (RE), "Regional-Bahn" (RB)). Several such connections to Saarbrücken only use such trains, so this is not a real limitation. For week days, there is a similar offer called "Quer-durchs-Land"-Ticket.

If you arrive at some other airport, things are not that simple, but there are still train connections.

From Saarbrücken main train station ("Saarbrücken Hauptbahnhof") to your hotel

From the train station to your hotel you can use public transport: Buses and a tramway that is called "Saarbahn".

  • The Hotel B&B Saarbrücken is located directly at the main train station.
  • For Hotel Madeleine and the Hotel Fuchs, you take the tramway S1 with destination "Sarreguemines", "Brebach", or "Kleinblittersdorf" and get off at the stop "Johanneskirche" (two stops). You can also walk (15 minutes).
  • For Hotel Weller, you take bus 124 with destination "Universität Busterminal" and get off at the stop "An der Trift" (five stops).
  • For the Youth Hostel, you take bus 124 with destination "Universität Busterminal" and get off at the stop "Prinzenweiher/DJH" (six stops). On Sunday, bus 124 does not operate. You can travel either to Ilseplatz by Bus 102 (11th stop), and walk from there (about 7 minutes), or you may check other options here: (von: Saarbrücken Hbf, nach: Saarbrücken, Europa Jugendherberge).
  • For Hotel Kaiserhof, take the tramway S1 with destination "Sarreguemines", "Brebach", or "Kleinblittersdorf" and get off at the stop "Uhlandstrasse" (five stops).
  • For the Etap-Hotel, take the tramway S1 with destination "Sarreguemines", "Brebach", or "Kleinblittersdorf" and get off at the stop "Kieselhumes". (six stops).

Specific bus queries (using the names of the bus/tram stops) can be entered here (enter the name of the origin bus/tram stop in the "von" field, the destination in the "nach" field, and in the next two, date and time).

Getting to the MPII and back

Your ADFOCS name badge entitles you to free public transport in Saarbrücken from August 13 to August 17. All buses to the MPII will have "Universität" as part of their destination sign. You get off the bus at the stop "Universität Mensa". The MPI building is located on the left side a bit further down the street (Building number E1.4). You can also look at the map below. On the way back you depart from the same bus stop (other side of the road).

  • From the main train station and from Hotel B&B Saarbrücken, take bus 124 with destination "Universität Busterminal" and get off at the stop "Universität Mensa" (12 stops). On the way back, the destination is "Betriebsbahnhof".
  • From the city center (Hotel Madeleine and Hotel Fuchs are located here) several buses to the MPII (stop "Universität Mensa") start at the bus stop "Rathaus": bus 101 with destination "Dudweiler Dudoplatz" (10 stops), bus 102 with destination "Dudweiler Dudoplatz" (13 stops), bus 109 with destination "Universität Busterminal " (13 stops), and bus 150 with destination "Neuweiler Sternplatz" (10 stops). On the way back to the city center you get off the bus at the bus stop "Johanneskirche". The destinations are "Füllengarten Siedlung" for bus 101, "Altenkessel Talstrasse" for bus 102, "Saarcenter/Goldene Bremm" for bus 109, and "Saarcenter" for bus 150.
  • From the Hotel Kaiserhof (tramway stop "Uhlandstrasse") or the Etap-Hotel (tramway stop "Kieselhumes") take the tramway S1 back in direction main station (destinations "Siedlerheim" and "Riegelsberg Süd") and get off at the tramway stop "Johanneskirche" (three/four stops). Walk over to the bus stop "Rathaus" and proceed as above.
  • From Hotel Weller (bus stop "An der Trift") or the Youth Hostel (bus stop "Prinzenweiher/DJH"), you enter the bus at the same stop you left when coming from the train station and go on to "Universität Mensa" taking bus 101 with destination "Dudweiler Dudoplatz", bus 124 with destination "Universität Busterminal", or bus 150 with destination "Neuweiler Sternplatz" (seven/six stops). On the way back, the destinations are "Füllengarten Siedlung" (bus 101), "Betriebsbahnhof" (bus 124), and "Saarcenter" (bus 150).

Campus map