Learning Tree Structured Potential Games

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 29 (NIPS 2016)

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Vikas Garg, Tommi Jaakkola


Many real phenomena, including behaviors, involve strategic interactions that can be learned from data. We focus on learning tree structured potential games where equilibria are represented by local maxima of an underlying potential function. We cast the learning problem within a max margin setting and show that the problem is NP-hard even when the strategic interactions form a tree. We develop a variant of dual decomposition to estimate the underlying game and demonstrate with synthetic and real decision/voting data that the game theoretic perspective (carving out local maxima) enables meaningful recovery.