Y Vorobeychik and MP Wellman

Seventh International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, pages 1055-1062, May 2008.
Copyright (c) 2008, IFAAMAS.


We define the class of games called simulation-based games, in which the payoffs are available as an output of an oracle (simulator), rather than specified analytically or using a payoff matrix. We then describe a convergent algorithm based on a hierarchical application of simulated annealing for estimating Nash equilibria in simulation-based games with finite-dimensional strategy sets. Additionally, we present alternative algorithms for best response and Nash equilibrium estimation, with a particular focus on one-shot infinite games of incomplete information. Our experimental results demonstrate that all the approaches we introduce are efficacious, albeit some more so than others. We show, for example, that while iterative best response dynamics has relatively weak convergence guarantees, it outperforms our convergent method experimentally. Additionally, we provide considerable evidence that a method based on random search outperforms gradient descent in our setting.