Stochastic games with non-observable actions

J Flesch*, F Thuijsman, OJ Vrieze

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

We examine n-player stochastic games. These are dynamic games where a play evolves in stages along a finite set of states; at each stage players independently have to choose actions in the present state and these choices determine a stage payoff to each player as well as a transition to a new state where actions have to be chosen at the next stage. For each player the infinite sequence of his stage payoffs is evaluated by taking the limiting average. Normally stochastic games are examined under the condition of full monitoring, i.e. At any stage each player observes the present state and the actions chosen by all players. This paper is a first attempt towards understanding under what circumstances equilibria could exist in n-player stochastic games without full monitoring. We demonstrate the non-existence of ?-equilibria in n-player stochastic games, with respect to the average reward, when at each stage each player is able to observe the present state, his own action, his own payoff, and the payoffs of the other players, but is unable to observe the actions of them. For this purpose, we present and examine a counterexample with 3 players. If we further drop the assumption that the players can observe the payoffs of the others, then counterexamples already exist in games with only 2 players.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-475
JournalMathematical Methods of Operations Research
Volume58
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003

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