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Finding the nucleoli of large cooperative games

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  • Nguyen, Tri-Dung
  • Thomas, Lyn

Abstract

The nucleolus is one of the most important solution concepts in cooperative game theory as a result of its attractive properties - it always exists (if the imputation is non-empty), is unique, and is always in the core (if the core is non-empty). However, computing the nucleolus is very challenging because it involves the lexicographical minimization of an exponentially large number of excess values. We present a method for computing the nucleoli of large games, including some structured games with more than 50 players, using nested linear programs (LP). Although different variations of the nested LP formulation have been documented in the literature, they have not been used for large games because of the large size and number of LPs involved. In addition, subtle issues such as how to deal with multiple optimal solutions and with tight constraint sets need to be resolved in each LP in order to formulate and solve the subsequent ones. Unfortunately, this technical issue has been largely overlooked in the literature. We treat these issues rigorously and provide a new nested LP formulation that is smaller in terms of the number of large LPs and their sizes. We provide numerical tests for several games, including the general flow games, the coalitional skill games and the weighted voting games, with up to 100 players.

Suggested Citation

  • Nguyen, Tri-Dung & Thomas, Lyn, 2016. "Finding the nucleoli of large cooperative games," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 248(3), pages 1078-1092.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:248:y:2016:i:3:p:1078-1092
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2015.08.017
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hamers, Herbert & Klijn, Flip & Solymosi, Tamas & Tijs, Stef & Vermeulen, Dries, 2003. "On the nucleolus of neighbor games," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 1-18, April.
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    9. Fromen, Bastian, 1997. "Reducing the number of linear programs needed for solving the nucleolus problem of n-person game theory," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 626-636, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tamás Solymosi, 2019. "Weighted nucleoli and dually essential coalitions," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 48(4), pages 1087-1109, December.
    2. Reiner Wolff, 2017. "The Integer Nucleolus of Directed Simple Games: A Characterization and an Algorithm," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(1), pages 1-12, February.
    3. Meinhardt, Holger Ingmar, 2016. "Finding the Nucleoli of Large Cooperative Games: A Disproof with Counter-Example," MPRA Paper 69789, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Liebmann, Thomas & Kassberger, Stefan & Hellmich, Martin, 2017. "Sharing and growth in general random multiplicative environments," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 258(1), pages 193-206.
    5. Tamás Solymosi, 2019. "Weighted nucleoli and dually essential coalitions (extended version)," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 1914, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    6. Márton Benedek & Jörg Fliege & Tri-Dung Nguyen, 2020. "Finding and verifying the nucleolus of cooperative games," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 2021, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    7. Meinhardt, Holger Ingmar, 2017. "Simplifying the Kohlberg Criterion on the Nucleolus: A Disproof by Oneself," MPRA Paper 77143, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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