The Average Tree Solution for Cooperative Games with Communication Structure
We study cooperative games with communication structure, represented by an undirectedgraph. Players in the game are able to cooperate only if they can form a network in the graph. A single-valued solution, the average tree solution, is proposed for this class ofgames. Given the graph structure we define a collection of spanning trees, where eachspanning tree specifies a particular way by which players communicate and determines a payoff vector of marginal contributions of all the players. The average tree solution is defined to be the average of all these payoff vectors. It is shown that if a game has acomplete communication structure, then the proposed solution coincides with the Shapleyvalue, and that if the game has a cycle-free communication structure, it is the solutionproposed by Herings, van der Laan and Talman (2008). We introduce the notion of linkconvexity, under which the game is shown to have a non-empty core and the average tree solution lies in the core. In general, link-convexity is weaker than convexity. For games with a cycle-free communication structure, link-convexity is even weaker than super-additivity.
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