Efficient Regret Minimization Algorithm for Extensive-Form Correlated Equilibrium

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NeurIPS 2019)

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Gabriele Farina, Chun Kai Ling, Fei Fang, Tuomas Sandholm


Self-play methods based on regret minimization have become the state of the art for computing Nash equilibria in large two-players zero-sum extensive-form games. These methods fundamentally rely on the hierarchical structure of the players' sequential strategy spaces to construct a regret minimizer that recursively minimizes regret at each decision point in the game tree. In this paper, we introduce the first efficient regret minimization algorithm for computing extensive-form correlated equilibria in large two-player general-sum games with no chance moves. Designing such an algorithm is significantly more challenging than designing one for the Nash equilibrium counterpart, as the constraints that define the space of correlation plans lack the hierarchical structure and might even form cycles. We show that some of the constraints are redundant and can be excluded from consideration, and present an efficient algorithm that generates the space of extensive-form correlation plans incrementally from the remaining constraints. This structural decomposition is achieved via a special convexity-preserving operation that we coin scaled extension. We show that a regret minimizer can be designed for a scaled extension of any two convex sets, and that from the decomposition we then obtain a global regret minimizer. Our algorithm produces feasible iterates. Experiments show that it significantly outperforms prior approaches and for larger problems it is the only viable option.