Department of Computer Science | Institute of Theoretical Computer Science | CADMO

Theory of Combinatorial Algorithms

Prof. Emo Welzl and Prof. Bernd Gärtner

Mittagsseminar (in cooperation with M. Ghaffari, A. Steger and B. Sudakov)

Mittagsseminar Talk Information

Date and Time: Tuesday, December 13, 2005, 12:15 pm

Duration: This information is not available in the database

Location: This information is not available in the database

Speaker: Rahul Savani (London School of Economics)

Hard-to-Solve Bimatrix Games

A bimatrix game is a two-player game in strategic form, a basic model in game theory. A Nash equilibrium is a pair of (possibly randomized) strategies, one for each player, so that no player can do better by unilaterally changing his or her strategy. The problem of finding one Nash equilibrium of a bimatrix game is considered as "one of the most important concrete open questions on the boundary of P today" (Papadimitriou, 2001).

In this talk, we show that the commonly used Lemke-Howson algorithm for finding one equilibrium of a bimatrix game is NOT polynomial. This question had been open for some time. The algorithm is a pivoting method similar to the simplex algorithm for linear programming. We present a class of square bimatrix games for which the shortest Lemke-Howson path grows exponentially in the dimension of the game d. We construct the games using pairs of dual cyclic polytopes with 2d facets in d-space.

(Joint work with Bernhard von Stengel)


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