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A Stochastic Search Algorithm for the Computation of Perfect and Proper Equilibria

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Abstract

This paper shows that stochastic search algorithms can be used to compute the perfect and proper equilibria of finite games. These type of equilibria use perturbations as a means of escape from local equilibria. Intuitively, there is always a small probability that an agent will select alternative strategy, even if that strategy is sub-optimal. This allows agents to escape from local equilibria in much the same way that stochastic search algorithms (like genetic algorithms and simulated annealing, for example) escape from local equilibria. This paper constructs a possibility result showing that if this equilibrium exists, then it can be found by using a stochastic search algorithm. This paper also shows by example, using the three player extensive game "Selten's Horse", that stochastic search can be used to locate a perfect equilibrium in an extensive form game.

Suggested Citation

  • Stuart McDonald & Liam Wagner, 2013. "A Stochastic Search Algorithm for the Computation of Perfect and Proper Equilibria," Discussion Papers Series 480, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:qld:uq2004:480
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    File URL: http://www.uq.edu.au/economics/abstract/480.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, January.
    2. Bernhard von Stengel & Antoon van den Elzen & Dolf Talman, 2002. "Computing Normal Form Perfect Equilibria for Extensive Two-Person Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 693-715, March.
    3. Koller, Daphne & Megiddo, Nimrod, 1996. "Finding Mixed Strategies with Small Supports in Extensive Form Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 25(1), pages 73-92.
    4. Peter Miltersen & Troels Sørensen, 2010. "Computing a quasi-perfect equilibrium of a two-player game," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 42(1), pages 175-192, January.
    5. G. van der Laan & A. J. J. Talman, 1982. "On the Computation of Fixed Points in the Product Space of Unit Simplices and an Application to Noncooperative N Person Games," Mathematics of Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 7(1), pages 1-13, February.
    6. Blume, Lawrence E & Zame, William R, 1994. "The Algebraic Geometry of Perfect and Sequential Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 783-794, July.
    7. Von Stengel, Bernhard, 2002. "Computing equilibria for two-person games," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 45, pages 1723-1759 Elsevier.
    8. McKelvey, Richard D. & McLennan, Andrew, 1996. "Computation of equilibria in finite games," Handbook of Computational Economics,in: H. M. Amman & D. A. Kendrick & J. Rust (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 87-142 Elsevier.
    9. Koller, Daphne & Megiddo, Nimrod & von Stengel, Bernhard, 1996. "Efficient Computation of Equilibria for Extensive Two-Person Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 247-259, June.
    10. Talman, A.J.J. & Doup, T.M., 1987. "A continuous deformation algorithm on the product space of unit simplices," Other publications TiSEM 0f7c777f-9ae5-4218-b3bd-2, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
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    Keywords

    Perfect and proper equilibria; computational methods; stochastic search;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium

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