Intrinsic robustness of the price of anarchy

11 years 8 days ago
Intrinsic robustness of the price of anarchy
The price of anarchy (POA) is a worst-case measure of the inefficiency of selfish behavior, defined as the ratio of the objective function value of a worst Nash equilibrium of a game and that of an optimal outcome. This measure implicitly assumes that players successfully reach some Nash equilibrium. This drawback motivates the search for inefficiency bounds that apply more generally to weaker notions of equilibria, such as mixed Nash and correlated equilibria; or to sequences of outcomes generated by natural experimentation strategies, such as successive best responses or simultaneous regret-minimization. We prove a general and fundamental connection between the price of anarchy and its seemingly stronger relatives in classes of games with a sum objective. First, we identify a "canonical sufficient condition" for an upper bound of the POA for pure Nash equilibria, which we call a smoothness argument. Second, we show that every bound derived via a smoothness argument extends...
Tim Roughgarden
Added 23 Nov 2009
Updated 23 Nov 2009
Type Conference
Year 2009
Where STOC
Authors Tim Roughgarden
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