This award funds research in new methods and algorithms for computing strategic equilibria. Many economic situations involve repeated interactions between agents. These repeated strategic interactions also appear in other realms of social science including politics and international relations.
The most basic formalization of such interactions is a repeated game. This provides a mathematical framework in which ongoing interactions can be quantified and the impact of such factors as the myopic temptations to cheat, the number of participants, the information available to participants when they plan their moves and responses, the compellingness of present versus future concerns, and so on, can be simultaneously assessed in a coherent way. An indispensable tool in this endeavor is the notion of equilibrium.
However, except in the most trivial formulations, the actual computation of possible equilibria is a difficult task. Even in relatively simple stylized settings it is difficult for the social scientist to investigate the impact of changes in underlying conditions (what happens if the price of certain inputs changes, what if regulations are put in place which limit the information firms have about their rivals, what if trade tariffs are altered, and so on). This project aims squarely at this computational problem. The PI and his team seek to develop methods that yield answers rapidly using standard laptop computers. Preliminary results include a number of promising new methods. The overall goal is to extend these results to other important classes of repeated interactions and thereby provide students, researchers and practitioners, important new tools to facilitate their analysis of ongoing interactions.