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Learning equilibria in repeated congestion games

Moshe Tennenholtz and Aviv Zohar


While the class of congestion games has been thoroughly studied in the multi-agent systems literature, settings with incomplete information have received relatively little attention. In this paper we consider a setting in which the cost functions of resources in the congestion game are initially unknown. The agents gather information about these cost functions through repeated interaction, and observations of costs they incur. In this context we consider the following requirement: the agents' algorithms should themselves be in equilibrium, regardless of the actual cost functions and should lead to an efficient outcome. We prove that this requirement is achievable for a broad class of games: repeated symmetric congestion games. Our results are applicable even when agents are somewhat limited in their capacity to monitor the actions of their counterparts, or when they are unable to determine the exact cost they incur from every resource. On the other hand, we show that there exist asymmetric congestion games for which no such equilibrium can be found, not even an inefficient one. Finally we consider equilibria with resistance to the deviation of more than one player and show that these do not exist even in repeated resource selection games.


Publication typeInproceedings
Published inAAMAS '09: Proceedings of The 8th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems
AddressRichland, SC
PublisherInternational Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems
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