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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 31, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  3. Francisco Ruiz, Jennifer Dy (Ed.)
    We study the sample complexity of identifying an approximate equilibrium for two-player zero-sum n × 2 matrix games. That is, in a sequence of repeated game plays, how many rounds must the two players play before reaching an approximate equilibrium (e.g., Nash)? We derive instance-dependent bounds that define an ordering over game matrices that captures the intuition that the dynamics of some games converge faster than others. Specifically, we consider a stochastic observation model such that when the two players choose actions i and j, respectively, they both observe each other’s played actions and a stochastic observation Xij such that E [Xij ] = Aij . To our knowledge, our work is the first case of instance-dependent lower bounds on the number of rounds the players must play before reaching an approximate equilibrium in the sense that the number of rounds depends on the specific properties of the game matrix A as well as the desired accuracy. We also prove a converse statement: there exist player strategies that achieve this lower bound. 
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  4. Learning problems commonly exhibit an interesting feedback mechanism wherein the population data reacts to competing decision makers’ actions. This paper formulates a new game theoretic framework for this phenomenon, called multi-player performative prediction. We focus on two distinct solution concepts, namely (i) performatively stable equilibria and (ii) Nash equilibria of the game. The latter equilibria are arguably more informative, but are generally computationally difficult to find since they are solutions of nonmonotone games. We show that under mild assumptions, the performatively stable equilibria can be found efficiently by a variety of algorithms, including repeated retraining and the repeated (stochastic) gradient method. We then establish transparent sufficient conditions for strong monotonicity of the game and use them to develop algorithms for finding Nash equilibria. We investigate derivative free methods and adaptive gradient algorithms wherein each player alternates between learning a parametric description of their distribution and gradient steps on the empirical risk. Synthetic and semi-synthetic numerical experiments illustrate the results. 
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  5. This paper studies the problem of expected loss minimization given a data distribution that is dependent on the decision-maker's action and evolves dynamically in time according to a geometric decay process. Novel algorithms for both the information setting in which the decision-maker has a first order gradient oracle and the setting in which they have simply a loss function oracle are introduced. The algorithms operate on the same underlying principle: the decision-maker deploys a fixed decision repeatedly over the length of an epoch, thereby allowing the dynamically changing environment to sufficiently mix before updating the decision. The iteration complexity in each of the settings is shown to match existing rates for first and zero order stochastic gradient methods up to logarithmic factors. The algorithms are evaluated on a ``semi-synthetic" example using real world data from the SFpark dynamic pricing pilot study; it is shown that the announced prices result in an improvement for the institution's objective (target occupancy), while achieving an overall reduction in parking rates. 
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