Progress on Empirical Game-Theoretic Analysis
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With colleagues and students over the past few years, I have been developing a body of techniques for strategic analysis, adopting the game-theoretic framework but employing it in domains where direct "model-and-solve" cannot apply. This empirical game-theoretic methodology embraces simulation, approximation, statistics and learning, and search. Through applications to canonical auction games, and rich trading scenarios, we demonstrate the value of empirical methods for extending the scope of game-theoretic analysis. Applying the approach also raises interesting technical questions, for example about controlling the search for effective strategies and inducing game models from simulation data. I discuss some of our observations from investigating these problems along with results from selected empirical game-theoretic studies to date.
Michael P. Wellman is Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Michigan. He received a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1988 for his work in qualitative probabilistic reasoning and decision-theoretic planning. From 1988 to 1992, Wellman conducted research in these areas at the USAF’s Wright Laboratory. For the past 18+ years, his research has focused on computational market mechanisms for distributed decision making and electronic commerce. As Chief Market Technologist for TradingDynamics, Inc. (now part of Ariba), he designed configurable auction technology for dynamic business-to-business commerce. Wellman previously served as Chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Electronic Commerce (SIGecom), and as Executive Editor of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research. He is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and the Association for Computing Machinery.