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Decompositions and potentials for normal form games


  • Sandholm, William H.


We introduce a method of decomposing a -player normal form game into simultaneously-played component games, each distinguished by the set of "active" players whose choices influence payoffs. We then prove that a normal form game is a potential game if and only if in each of the component games, all active players have identical payoff functions, and that in this case, the sum of these shared payoff functions is the original game's potential function. We conclude by discussing algorithms for deciding whether a given normal form game is a potential game.

Suggested Citation

  • Sandholm, William H., 2010. "Decompositions and potentials for normal form games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 446-456, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:70:y:2010:i:2:p:446-456

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sandholm, William H., 2007. "Pigouvian pricing and stochastic evolutionary implementation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 367-382, January.
    2. Ui, Takashi, 2000. "A Shapley Value Representation of Potential Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 121-135, April.
    3. Sandholm, William H., 2001. "Potential Games with Continuous Player Sets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 81-108, March.
    4. William H. Sandholm, 2005. "Negative Externalities and Evolutionary Implementation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 885-915.
    5. William H. Sandholm, 2002. "Evolutionary Implementation and Congestion Pricing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 667-689.
    6. Sandholm, William H., 2009. "Large population potential games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1710-1725, July.
    7. Slade, Margaret E, 1994. "What Does an Oligopoly Maximize?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 45-61, March.
    8. Hart, Sergiu & Mas-Colell, Andreu, 1989. "Potential, Value, and Consistency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 589-614, May.
    9. Monderer, Dov & Shapley, Lloyd S., 1996. "Potential Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 124-143, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joseph Abdou & Nikolaos Pnevmatikos & Marco Scarsini, 2014. "Uniformity and games decomposition," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 14084r, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne, revised Mar 2017.
    2. Nora, Vladyslav & Uno, Hiroshi, 2014. "Saddle functions and robust sets of equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 866-877.
    3. Hellmann, Tim & Staudigl, Mathias, 2014. "Evolution of social networks," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 234(3), pages 583-596.
    4. Sen, Debapriya, 2018. "Potential games, path independence and Poisson's binomial distribution," MPRA Paper 84409, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Sandholm, William H. & Staudigl, Mathias, 2016. "Large Deviations and Stochastic Stability in the Small Noise Double Limit, II: The Logit Model," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 506, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
    6. Kukushkin, Nikolai S., 2014. "Rosenthal's potential and a discrete version of the Debreu--Gorman Theorem," MPRA Paper 54171, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Lina Mallozzi, 2013. "An application of optimization theory to the study of equilibria for games: a survey," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer;Slovak Society for Operations Research;Hungarian Operational Research Society;Czech Society for Operations Research;Österr. Gesellschaft für Operations Research (ÖGOR);Slovenian Society Informatika - Section for Operational Research;Croatian Operational Research Society, vol. 21(3), pages 523-539, September.

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