Abstract: .We present a new methodology for computing approximateNashequilibria for two-person non-cooperative games based upon certain
extensions and specializations of an existing optimization approach pre-
viously used for the derivation of xed approximations for this problem.
In particular, the general two-person problem is reduced to an inde-
nite quadratic programming problem of special structure involving the
n x n adjacency matrix of an induced simple graph specied by the in-
put data of the game, where n is the number of players' strategies.

Abstract: In this paper we propose a new methodology for determining
approximateNashequilibria of non-cooperative bimatrix games and,
based on that, we provide an efficient algorithm that computes 0.3393-
approximateequilibria, the best approximation till now. The methodology
is based on the formulation of an appropriate function of pairs of
mixed strategies reflecting the maximum deviation of the players¢ payoffs
from the best payoff each player could achieve given the strategy
chosen by the other. We then seek to minimize such a function using
descent procedures. As it is unlikely to be able to find global minima
in polynomial time, given the recently proven intractability of the problem,
we concentrate on the computation of stationary points and prove
that they can be approximated arbitrarily close in polynomial time and
that they have the above mentioned approximation property. Our result
provides the best till now for polynomially computable -approximateNashequilibria of bimatrix games. Furthermore, our methodology for
computing approximateNashequilibria has not been used by others.

Abstract: We focus on the problem of computing approximateNashequilibria and well-supported approximateNashequilibria in random bimatrix games, where each player's payoffs are bounded and independent random variables, not necessarily identically distributed, but with common expectations. We show that the completely mixed uniform strategy profile, i.e. the combination of mixed strategies (one per player) where each player plays with equal probability each one of her available pure strategies, is an almost Nash equilibrium for random bimatrix games, in the sense that it is, with high probability, an {\aa}-well-supported Nash equilibrium where {\aa} tends to zero as n tends to infinity.

Abstract: This chapter is an introduction to the basic concepts and advances of a new field, that of Computational (or Algorithmic) Game Theory. We study the computational complexity of Nashequilibria and review the related algorithms proposed in the literature. Then, given the apparent difficulty of computing exact Nashequilibria, we study the efficient computation of approximate notions of Nashequilibria. Next we deal with several computational issues related to the class of congestion games, which model the selfish behavior of individuals when competing on the usage of a common set of resources. Finally, we study the price of anarchy (in the context of congestion games), which is defined as a measure of the performance degradation due to the the lack of coordination among the involved players.

Abstract: In this work we study the tractability of well supported approximateNashEquilibria (SuppNE in short) in bimatrix games. In view
of the apparent intractability of constructing NashEquilibria (NE in
short) in polynomial time, even for bimatrix games, understanding the
limitations of the approximability of the problem is of great importance.
We initially prove that SuppNE are immune to the addition of arbitrary
real vectors to the rows (columns) of the row (column) player¢s
payoff matrix. Consequently we propose a polynomial time algorithm
(based on linear programming) that constructs a 0.5−SuppNE for arbitrary
win lose games.
We then parameterize our technique for win lose games, in order to
apply it to arbitrary (normalized) bimatrix games. Indeed, this new technique
leads to a weaker {\"o}−SuppNE for win lose games, where {\"o} = √5−1
2
is the golden ratio. Nevertheless, this parameterized technique extends
nicely to a technique for arbitrary [0, 1]−bimatrix games, which assures
a 0.658−SuppNE in polynomial time.
To our knowledge, these are the first polynomial time algorithms providing
{\aa}−SuppNE of normalized or win lose bimatrix games, for some
nontrivial constant {\aa} ∈ [0, 1), bounded away from 1.

Abstract: We present three new coordination mechanisms for schedul-
ing n sel¯sh jobs on m unrelated machines. A coordination
mechanism aims to mitigate the impact of sel¯shness of jobs
on the e±ciency of schedules by de¯ning a local schedul-
ing policy on each machine. The scheduling policies induce
a game among the jobs and each job prefers to be sched-
uled on a machine so that its completion time is minimum
given the assignments of the other jobs. We consider the
maximum completion time among all jobs as the measure
of the e±ciency of schedules. The approximation ratio of
a coordination mechanism quanti¯es the e±ciency of pure
Nashequilibria (price of anarchy) of the induced game. Our
mechanisms are deterministic, local, and preemptive in the
sense that the scheduling policy does not necessarily process
the jobs in an uninterrupted way and may introduce some
idle time. Our ¯rst coordination mechanism has approxima-
tion ratio O(logm) and always guarantees that the induced
game has pure Nashequilibria to which the system con-
verges in at most n rounds. This result improves a recent
bound of O(log2 m) due to Azar, Jain, and Mirrokni and,
similarly to their mechanism, our mechanism uses a global
ordering of the jobs according to their distinct IDs. Next
we study the intriguing scenario where jobs are anonymous,
i.e., they have no IDs. In this case, coordination mechanisms
can only distinguish between jobs that have diffeerent load
characteristics. Our second mechanism handles anonymous
jobs and has approximation ratio O
¡ logm
log logm
¢
although the
game induced is not a potential game and, hence, the exis-
tence of pure Nashequilibria is not guaranteed by potential
function arguments. However, it provides evidence that the
known lower bounds for non-preemptive coordination mech-
anisms could be beaten using preemptive scheduling poli-
cies. Our third coordination mechanism also handles anony-
mous jobs and has a nice \cost-revealing" potential func-
tion. Besides in proving the existence of equilibria, we use
this potential function in order to upper-bound the price of stability of the induced game by O(logm), the price of an-
archy by O(log2 m), and the convergence time to O(log2 m)-
approximate assignments by a polynomial number of best-
response moves. Our third coordination mechanism is the
¯rst that handles anonymous jobs and simultaneously guar-
antees that the induced game is a potential game and has
bounded price of anarchy.

Abstract: We study the combinatorial structure and computational complexity of extreme Nashequilibria, ones that maximize or minimize a certain objective function, in the context of a selfish routing game. Specifically, we assume a collection of n users, each employing a mixed strategy, which is a probability distribution over m parallel links, to control the routing of its own assigned traffic. In a Nash equilibrium, each user routes its traffic on links that minimize its expected latency cost.
Our structural results provide substantial evidence for the Fully Mixed Nash Equilibrium Conjecture, which states that the worst Nash equilibrium is the fully mixed Nash equilibrium, where each user chooses each link with positive probability. Specifically, we prove that the Fully Mixed Nash Equilibrium Conjecture is valid for pure Nashequilibria and that under a certain condition, the social cost of any Nash equilibrium is within a factor of 6 + epsi, of that of the fully mixed Nash equilibrium, assuming that link capacities are identical.
Our complexity results include hardness, approximability and inapproximability ones. Here we show, that for identical link capacities and under a certain condition, there is a randomized, polynomial-time algorithm to approximate the worst social cost within a factor arbitrarily close to 6 + epsi. Furthermore, we prove that for any arbitrary integer k > 0, it is -hard to decide whether or not any given allocation of users to links can be transformed into a pure Nash equilibrium using at most k selfish steps. Assuming identical link capacities, we give a polynomial-time approximation scheme (PTAS) to approximate the best social cost over all pure Nashequilibria. Finally we prove, that it is -hard to approximate the worst social cost within a multiplicative factor . The quantity is the tight upper bound on the ratio of the worst social cost and the optimal cost in the model of identical capacities.

Abstract: We study the performance of approximateNashequilibria for congestion
games with polynomial latency functions. We consider how much the price of anarchy
worsens and how much the price of stability improves as a function of the
approximation factor . We give tight bounds for the price of anarchy of atomic and
non-atomic congestion games and for the price of stability of non-atomic congestion
games. For the price of stability of atomic congestion games we give non-tight
bounds for linear latencies. Our results not only encompass and generalize the existing
results of exact equilibria to -Nashequilibria, but they also provide a unified
approach which reveals the common threads of the atomic and non-atomic price of
anarchy results. By expanding the spectrum, we also cast the existing results in a new
light.

Abstract: In this paper we present an implementation and performance evaluation of a descent algorithm that was proposed in \cite{tsaspi} for the computation of approximateNashequilibria of non-cooperative bi-matrix games. This algorithm, which achieves the best polynomially computable \epsilon-approximateequilibria till now, is applied here to several problem instances designed so as to avoid the existence of easy solutions. Its performance is analyzed in terms of quality of approximation and speed of convergence. The results demonstrate significantly better performance than the theoretical worst case bounds, both for the quality of approximation and for the speed of convergence. This motivates further investigation into the intrinsic characteristics of descent algorithms applied to bi-matrix games. We discuss these issues and provide some insights about possible variations and extensions of the algorithmic concept that could lead to further understanding of the complexity of computing equilibria. We also prove here a new significantly better bound on the number of loops required for convergence of the descent algorithm.

Abstract: We consider applications of probabilistic techniques in the
framework of algorithmic game theory. We focus on three distinct case
studies: (i) The exploitation of the probabilistic method to demonstrate
the existence of approximateNashequilibria of logarithmic support sizes
in bimatrix games; (ii) the analysis of the statistical conflict that mixed
strategies cause in network congestion games; (iii) the effect of coalitions
in the quality of congestion games on parallel links.

Abstract: We focus on the problem of computing approximateNashequilibria and well-supported approximateNashequilibria in random bimatrix games, where each player's payoffs are bounded and independent random variables, not necessarily identically distributed, but with almost common expectations. We show that the completely mixed uniform strategy profile, i.e., the combination of mixed strategies (one per player) where each player plays with equal probability each one of her available pure strategies, is with high probability a TeX -Nash equilibrium and a TeX -well supported Nash equilibrium, where n is the number of pure strategies available to each player. This asserts that the completely mixed, uniform strategy profile is an almost Nash equilibrium for random bimatrix games, since it is, with high probability, an ϵ-well-supported Nash equilibrium where ϵ tends to zero as n tends to infinity.

Abstract: We study extreme Nashequilibria in the context of a selfish routing game. Specifically, we assume a collection of n users, each employing a mixed strategy, which is a probability distribution over m parallel identical links, to control the routing of its own assigned traffic. In a Nash equilibrium, each user selfishly routes its traffic on those links that minimize its expected latency cost. The social cost of a Nash equilibrium is the expectation, over all random choices of the users, of the maximum, over all links, latency through a link.
We provide substantial evidence for the Fully Mixed Nash Equilibrium Conjecture, which states that the worst Nash equilibrium is the fully mixed Nash equilibrium, where each user chooses each link with positive probability. Specifically, we prove that the Fully Mixed Nash Equilibrium Conjecture is valid for pure Nashequilibria. Furthermore, we show, that under a certain condition, the social cost of any Nash equilibrium is within a factor of 2h(1+ɛ) of that of the fully mixed Nash equilibrium, where h is the factor by which the largest user traffic deviates from the average user traffic.
Considering pure Nashequilibria, we provide a PTAS to approximate the best social cost, we give an upper bound on the worst social cost and we show that it is View the MathML source-hard to approximate the worst social cost within a multiplicative factor better than 2-2/(m+1).

Abstract: We study extreme Nashequilibria in the context of a selfish routing game. Specifically, we assume a collection of n users, each employing a mixed strategy, which is a probability distribution over m parallel identical links, to control the routing of its own assigned traffic. In a Nash equilibrium, each user selfishly routes its traffic on those links that minimize its expected latency cost. The social cost of a Nash equilibrium is the expectation, over all random choices of the users, of the maximum, over all links, latency through a link.We provide substantial evidence for the Fully Mixed Nash Equilibrium Conjecture, which states that the worst Nash equilibrium is the fully mixed Nash equilibrium, where each user chooses each link with positive probability. Specifically, we prove that the Fully Mixed Nash Equilibrium Conjecture is valid for pure Nashequilibria. Furthermore, we show, that under a certain condition, the social cost of any Nash equilibrium is within a factor of 2h(1 + {\aa}) of that of the fully mixed Nash equilibrium, where h is the factor by which the largest user traffic deviates from the average user traffic.Considering pure Nashequilibria, we provide a PTAS to approximate the best social cost, we give an upper bound on the worst social cost and we show that it is N P-hard to approximate the worst social cost within a multiplicative factor better than 2 - 2/(m + 1).

Abstract: In view of the apparent intractability of constructing NashEquilibria (NE
in short) in polynomial time, even for bimatrix games, understanding the limitations
of the approximability of the problem is an important challenge.
In this work we study the tractability of a notion of approximateequilibria in bimatrix
games, called well supported approximateNashEquilibria (SuppNE in short).
Roughly speaking, while the typical notion of approximate NE demands that each
player gets a payoff at least an additive term less than the best possible payoff, in a
SuppNE each player is assumed to adopt with positive probability only approximate
pure best responses to the opponent¢s strategy.
As a first step, we demonstrate the existence of SuppNE with small supports and
at the same time good quality. This is a simple corollary of Alth{\"o}fer¢s Approximation
Lemma, and implies a subexponential time algorithm for constructing SuppNE of
arbitrary (constant) precision.
We then propose algorithms for constructing SuppNE in win lose and normalized
bimatrix games (i.e., whose payoff matrices take values from {0, 1} and [0, 1] respectively).
Our methodology for attacking the problem is based on the solvability of zero sum bimatrix games (via its connection to linear programming) and provides a
0.5-SuppNE for win lose games and a 0.667-SuppNE for normalized games.
To our knowledge, this paper provides the first polynomial time algorithms constructing
{\aa}-SuppNE for normalized or win lose bimatrix games, for any nontrivial
constant 0 ≤{\aa} <1, bounded away from 1.

Abstract: We study the existence and tractability of a notion of approximateequilibria in bimatrix games, called well supported approximateNashEquilibria (SuppNE in short).We prove existence of "−SuppNE for
any constant " 2 (0, 1), with only logarithmic support sizes for both players.
Also we propose a polynomial–time construction of SuppNE, both
for win lose and for arbitrary (normalized) bimatrix games. The quality
of these SuppNE depends on the girth of the Nash Dynamics graph in
the win lose game, or a (rounded–off) win lose image of the original normalized
game. Our constructions are very successful in sparse win lose
games (ie, having a constant number of (0, 1)−elements in the bimatrix)
with large girth in the Nash Dynamics graph. The same holds also for
normalized games whose win lose image is sparse with large girth.
Finally we prove the simplicity of constructing SuppNE both in random
normalized games and in random win lose games. In the former case we
prove that the uniform full mix is an o(1)−SuppNE, while in the case
of win lose games, we show that (with high probability) there is either a
PNE or a 0.5-SuppNE with support sizes only 2.