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Symmetries and the Complexity of Pure Nash Equilibrium
, 2006
"... Strategic games may exhibit symmetries in a variety of ways. A common aspect of symmetry, enabling the compact representation of games even when the number of players is unbounded, is that players cannot (or need not) distinguish between the other players. We define four classes of symmetric games b ..."
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Cited by 20 (3 self)
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Strategic games may exhibit symmetries in a variety of ways. A common aspect of symmetry, enabling the compact representation of games even when the number of players is unbounded, is that players cannot (or need not) distinguish between the other players. We define four classes of symmetric games by considering two additional properties: identical payoff functions for all players and the ability to distinguish oneself from the other players. Based on these varying notions of symmetry, we investigate the computational complexity of pure Nash equilibria. It turns out that in all four classes of games equilibria can be found efficiently when only a constant number of actions is available to each player, a problem that has been shown intractable for other succinct representations of multiplayer games. We further show that identical payoff functions simplify the search for equilibria, while a growing number of actions renders it intractable. Finally, we show that our results extend to wider classes of threshold symmetric games where players are unable to determine the exact number of players playing a certain action.
On the complexity of Nash equilibria of ActionGraph Games
 In SODA: Proceedings of the ACMSIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms
, 2009
"... In light of much recent interest in finding a model of multiplayer multiaction games that allows for efficient computation of Nash equilibria yet remains as expressive as possible, we investigate the computational complexity of Nash equilibria in the recently proposed model of actiongraph games (A ..."
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Cited by 6 (1 self)
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In light of much recent interest in finding a model of multiplayer multiaction games that allows for efficient computation of Nash equilibria yet remains as expressive as possible, we investigate the computational complexity of Nash equilibria in the recently proposed model of actiongraph games (AGGs). AGGs, introduced by Bhat and LeytonBrown, are succinct representations of games that encapsulate both local dependencies as in graphical games, and partial indifference to other agents ’ identities as in anonymous games, which occur in many natural settings such as financial markets. This is achieved by specifying a graph on the set of actions, so that the payoff of an agent for selecting a strategy depends only on the number of agents playing each of the neighboring strategies in the action graph. We present a simple Fully Polynomial Time Approximation Scheme for computing mixed Nash equilibria of AGGs with constant degree, constant treewidth and a constant number of agent types (but an arbitrary number of strategies), and extend this algorithm to a broader set of instances. However, the main results of this paper are negative, showing that when either of the latter conditions are relaxed the problem becomes intractable. In particular, we show that even if the action graph is a tree but the number of agenttypes is unconstrained, it is NP– complete to decide the existence of a purestrategy Nash equilibrium and PPAD–complete to compute a mixed Nash equilibrium (even an approximate one). Similarly for AGGs with a constant number of agent types but unconstrained treewidth. These hardness results suggest that, in some sense, our FPTAS is as strong a positive result as one can expect. In the broader context of trying to pin down the boundary where the equilibria of multiplayer games can be computed efficiently, these results complement recent hardness results for graphical games and algorithmic results for anonymous games.
Pure Nash Equilibria: Complete Characterization of Hard and Easy Graphical Games
, 2010
"... We consider the computational complexity of pure Nash equilibria in graphical games. It is known that the problem is NPcomplete in general, but tractable (i.e., in P) for special classes of graphs such as those with bounded treewidth. It is then natural to ask: is it possible to characterize all tr ..."
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Cited by 1 (0 self)
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We consider the computational complexity of pure Nash equilibria in graphical games. It is known that the problem is NPcomplete in general, but tractable (i.e., in P) for special classes of graphs such as those with bounded treewidth. It is then natural to ask: is it possible to characterize all tractable classes of graphs for this problem? In this work, we provide such a characterization for the case of bounded indegree graphs, thereby resolving the gap between existing hardness and tractability results. In particular, we analyze the complexity of PUREGG(C, −), the problem of deciding the existence of pure Nash equilibria in graphical games whose underlying graphs are restricted to class C. We prove that, under reasonable complexity theoretic assumptions, for every recursively enumerable class C of directed graphs with bounded indegree, PUREGG(C, −) is in polynomial time if and only if the reduced graphs (the graphs resulting from iterated removal of sinks) of C have bounded treewidth. We also give a characterization for PURECHG(C, −), the problem of deciding the existence of pure Nash equilibria in colored hypergraphical games, a game representation that can express the additional structure that some of the players have identical local utility functions. We show that the tractable classes of boundedarity colored hypergraphical games are precisely those whose reduced graphs have bounded treewidth modulo homomorphic equivalence. Our proofs make novel use of Grohe’s characterization of the complexity of homomorphism problems.