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How long to equilibrium? The communication complexity of uncoupled equilibrium procedures

  • Hart, Sergiu
  • Mansour, Yishay

We study the question of how long it takes players to reach a Nash equilibrium in uncoupled setups, where each player initially knows only his own payoff function. We derive lower bounds on the communication complexity of reaching a Nash equilibrium, i.e., on the number of bits that need to be transmitted, and thus also on the required number of steps. Specifically, we show lower bounds that are exponential in the number of players in each one of the following cases: (1) reaching a pure Nash equilibrium; (2) reaching a pure Nash equilibrium in a Bayesian setting; and (3) reaching a mixed Nash equilibrium. We then show that, in contrast, the communication complexity of reaching a correlated equilibrium is polynomial in the number of players.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 107-126

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:69:y:2010:i:1:p:107-126
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. Sergiu Hart, 2013. "Adaptive Heuristics," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Simple Adaptive Strategies From Regret-Matching to Uncoupled Dynamics, chapter 11, pages 253-287 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  2. Germano, Fabrizio & Lugosi, Gabor, 2007. "Global Nash convergence of Foster and Young's regret testing," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 135-154, July.
  3. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1998. "The Theory of Learning in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061945, March.
  4. Amotz Cahn, 2004. "General procedures leading to correlated equilibria," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 33(1), pages 21-40, January.
  5. Kalai, Ehud & Lehrer, Ehud, 1993. "Rational Learning Leads to Nash Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1019-45, September.
  6. Sergiu Hart & Andreu Mas-Colell, 1999. "A General Class of Adaptive Strategies," Game Theory and Information 9904001, EconWPA, revised 23 Mar 2000.
  7. Hart, Sergiu & Mas-Colell, Andreu, 2006. "Stochastic uncoupled dynamics and Nash equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 286-303, November.
  8. Stoltz, Gilles & Lugosi, Gabor, 2007. "Learning correlated equilibria in games with compact sets of strategies," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 187-208, April.
  9. Foster, Dean P. & Young, H. Peyton, 2006. "Regret testing: learning to play Nash equilibrium without knowing you have an opponent," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(3), pages 341-367, September.
  10. Young, H. Peyton, 2004. "Strategic Learning and its Limits," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199269181, December.
  11. Foster, Dean P. & Young, H. Peyton, 2003. "Learning, hypothesis testing, and Nash equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 73-96, October.
  12. Sergiu Hart & Andreu Mas-Colell, 1997. "A Simple Adaptive Procedure Leading to Correlated Equilibrium," Game Theory and Information 9703006, EconWPA, revised 24 Mar 1997.
  13. Foster, Dean P. & Vohra, Rakesh V., 1997. "Calibrated Learning and Correlated Equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 40-55, October.
  14. AUMANN, Robert J., . "Subjectivity and correlation in randomized strategies," CORE Discussion Papers RP 167, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  15. Jordan, J. S., 1991. "Bayesian learning in normal form games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 60-81, February.
  16. Jordan J. S., 1993. "Three Problems in Learning Mixed-Strategy Nash Equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 368-386, July.
  17. Sergiu Hart & Andreu Mas-Colell, 2003. "Uncoupled Dynamics Do Not Lead to Nash Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1830-1836, December.
  18. Monderer, Dov & Shapley, Lloyd S., 1996. "Potential Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 124-143, May.
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