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Title: Efficient algorithms for computing approximate equilibria in bimatrix, polymatrix and Lipschitz games
Author: Deligkas, A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 1718
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2016
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In this thesis, we study the problem of computing approximate equilibria in several classes of games. In particular, we study approximate Nash equilibria and approximate well-supported Nash equilibria in polymatrix and bimatrix games and approximate equilibria in Lipschitz games, penalty games and biased games. We construct algorithms for computing approximate equilibria that beat the cur- rent best algorithms for these problems. In Chapter 3, we present a distributed method to compute approximate Nash equilibria in bimatrix games. In contrast to previous approaches that analyze the two payoff matrices at the same time (for example, by solving a single LP that combines the two players’ payoffs), our algorithm first solves two independent LPs, each of which is derived from one of the two payoff matrices, and then computes an approximate Nash equilibrium using only limited communication between the players. In Chapter 4, we present an algorithm that, for every δ in the range 0 < δ ≤ 0.5, finds a (0.5+δ)-Nash equilibrium of a polymatrix game in time polynomial in the input size and 1 . Note that our approximation guarantee does not depend on δ the number of players, a property that was not previously known to be achievable for polymatrix games, and still cannot be achieved for general strategic-form games. In Chapter 5, we present an approximation-preserving reduction from the problem of computing an approximate Bayesian Nash equilibrium (ε-BNE) for a two-player Bayesian game to the problem of computing an ε-NE of a polymatrix game and thus show that the algorithm of Chapter 4 can be applied to two-player Bayesian games. Furthermore, we provide a simple polynomial-time algorithm for computing a 0.5-BNE. In Chapter 5, we study games with non-linear utility functions for the players. Our key insight is that Lipschitz continuity of the utility function allows us to provide algorithms for finding approximate equilibria in these games. We begin by studying Lipschitz games, which encompass, for example, all concave games with Lipschitz continuous payoff functions. We provide an efficient algorithm for computing approximate equilibria in these games. Then we turn our attention to penalty games, which encompass biased games and games in which players take risk into account. Here we show that if the penalty function is Lipschitz continuous, then we can provide a quasi-polynomial time approximation scheme. Finally, we study distance biased games, where we present simple strongly poly- nomial time algorithms for finding best responses in L1, L2, and L∞ biased games, and then use these algorithms to provide strongly polynomial algorithms that find 2/3, 5/7, and 2/3 approximations for these norms, respectively.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral