We consider a ubiquitous scenario in the Internet economy when individual decision-makers (henceforth, agents) both produce and consume information as they make strategic choices in an uncertain environment. This creates a three-way tradeoff between exploration (trying out insufficiently explored alternatives to help others in the future), exploitation (making optimal decisions given the information discovered by other agents), and incentives of the agents (who are myopically interested in exploitation, while preferring the others to explore). We posit a principal who controls the flow of information from agents that came before, and strives to coordinate the agents towards a socially optimal balance between exploration and exploitation, not using any monetary transfers. The goal is to design a recommendation policy for the principal which respects agents' incentives and minimizes a suitable notion of regret. We extend prior work in this direction to allow the agents to interact with one another in a shared environment: at each time step, multiple agents arrive to play a Bayesian game, receive recommendations, choose their actions, receive their payoffs, and then leave the game forever. The agents now face two sources of uncertainty: the actions of the other agents and the parameters of the uncertain game environment. Our main contribution is to show that the principal can achieve constant regret when the utilities are deterministic (where the constant depends on the prior distribution, but not on the time horizon), and logarithmic regret when the utilities are stochastic. As a key technical tool, we introduce the concept of explorable actions, the actions which some incentive-compatible policy can recommend with non-zero probability. We show how the principal can identify (and explore) all explorable actions, and use the revealed information to perform optimally.
- Pub Date:
- February 2016
- Computer Science - Computer Science and Game Theory;
- Computer Science - Data Structures and Algorithms;
- Computer Science - Machine Learning
- All revisions focused on presentation