Computational Aspects of Cooperative Game Theory

Computational Aspects of Cooperative Game Theory

Georgios Chalkiadakis, Edith Elkind, Michael Wooldridge,
ISBN: 9781608456529 | PDF ISBN: 9781608456536
Copyright © 2011 | 168 Pages | Publication Date: 01/01/2011

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Cooperative game theory is a branch of (micro-)economics that studies the behavior of self-interested agents in strategic settings where binding agreements among agents are possible. Our aim in this book is to present a survey of work on the computational aspects of cooperative game theory. We begin by formally defining transferable utility games in characteristic function form, and introducing key solution concepts such as the core and the Shapley value. We then discuss two major issues that arise when considering such games from a computational perspective: identifying compact representations for games, and the closely related problem of efficiently computing solution concepts for games. We survey several formalisms for cooperative games that have been proposed in the literature, including, for example, cooperative games defined on networks, as well as general compact representation schemes such as MC-nets and skill games. As a detailed case study, we consider weighted voting games: a widely-used and practically important class of cooperative games that inherently have a natural compact representation. We investigate the complexity of solution concepts for such games, and generalizations of them.

We briefly discuss games with non-transferable utility and partition function games. We then overview algorithms for identifying welfare-maximizing coalition structures and methods used by rational agents to form coalitions (even under uncertainty), including bargaining algorithms. We conclude by considering some developing topics, applications, and future research directions.

Table of Contents

Basic Concepts
Representations and Algorithms
Weighted Voting Games
Beyond Characteristic Function Games
Coalition Structure Formation
Advanced Topics

About the Author(s)

Georgios Chalkiadakis, Technical University of Crete, Greece
Georgios Chalkiadakis is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, Technical University of Crete (TUC). His research interests are in the areas of multiagent systems, algorithmic game theory,and learning,and more specifically,in coalition formation, decision making under uncertainty, and reinforcement learning in multiagent domains. His PhD thesis (University of Toronto, 2007) was nominated for the IFAAMAS-2007 Victor Lesser Distinguished Dissertation Award. Georgios has served as Program Committee member for several top international conferences, and as a reviewer for several top journals in his areas of expertise. Before joining TUC, he was a Research Fellow at the School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, UK; and has also worked as a software engineer at the Institute of Computer Science of the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas, and as a teacher of informatics in Greek high schools.

Edith Elkind, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Edith Elkind is an Assistant Professor and the National Research Foundation fellow at the Division of Mathematics,School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). Edith has an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Moscow State University (Russia) and a PhD in Computer Science from Princeton University (2005). Prior to joining NTU, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at University of Warwick (UK),University of Liverpool (UK) and Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel), as well as a lecturer at University of Southampton (UK). Her research interests are in the area of algorithmic game theory and computational social choice, and she has published over 50 papers in top international conferences and journals in these fields. Edith has served as a senior PC member of major algorithmic game theory and AI conferences, such as ACM EC, AAAI, IJCAI and AAMAS. She is an editorial board member of Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (JAIR),Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (JAAMAS) and ACM Transactions on Economics and Computation (TEAC).

Michael Wooldridge, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
Michael Wooldridge is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Liverpool, UK. He has been active in multi-agent systems research since 1989, and has published over three hundred articles in the area. His main interests are in the use of formal methods for reasoning about autonomous agents and multi-agent systems. Wooldridge was the recipient of the ACM Autonomous Agents Research Award in 2006. He is an associate editor of the journals "Artificial Intelligence" and "Journal of AI Research (JAIR)." His introductory textbook An Introduction to Multiagent Systems was published by Wiley in 2002 (second edition 2009).


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