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Learning Nash Equilibria in Rank-1 Games

Nikolas Patris · Ioannis Panageas

Halle B #205
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Wed 8 May 7:30 a.m. PDT — 9:30 a.m. PDT


Learning Nash equilibria (NE) in games has garnered significant attention, particularly in the context of training Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and multi-agent Reinforcement Learning. The current state-of-the-art in efficiently learning games focuses on landscapes that meet the (weak) Minty property or games characterized by a unique function, often referred to as potential games. A significant challenge in this domain is that computing Nash equilibria is a computationally intractable task [Daskalakis et al. 2009]. In this paper we focus on bimatrix games (A,B) called rank-1. These are games in which the sum of the payoff matrices A+B is a rank 1 matrix; note that standard zero-sum games are rank 0. We show that optimistic gradient descent/ascent converges to an \epsilon-approximate NE after 1/\epsilon^2 log(1/\epsilon) iterates in rank-1 games. We achieve this by leveraging structural results about the NE landscape of rank-1 games Adsul et al. 2021. Notably, our approach bypasses the fact that these games do not satisfy the MVI property.

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