Online Convex Optimization for Sequential Decision Processes and Extensive-Form Games


  • Gabriele Farina Carnegie Mellon University
  • Christian Kroer Carnegie Mellon University
  • Tuomas Sandholm Carnegie Mellon University



Regret minimization is a powerful tool for solving large-scale extensive-form games. State-of-the-art methods rely on minimizing regret locally at each decision point. In this work we derive a new framework for regret minimization on sequential decision problems and extensive-form games with general compact convex sets at each decision point and general convex losses, as opposed to prior work which has been for simplex decision points and linear losses. We call our framework laminar regret decomposition. It generalizes the CFR algorithm to this more general setting. Furthermore, our framework enables a new proof of CFR even in the known setting, which is derived from a perspective of decomposing polytope regret, thereby leading to an arguably simpler interpretation of the algorithm. Our generalization to convex compact sets and convex losses allows us to develop new algorithms for several problems: regularized sequential decision making, regularized Nash equilibria in zero-sum extensive-form games, and computing approximate extensive-form perfect equilibria. Our generalization also leads to the first regret-minimization algorithm for computing reduced-normal-form quantal response equilibria based on minimizing local regrets. Experiments show that our framework leads to algorithms that scale at a rate comparable to the fastest variants of counterfactual regret minimization for computing Nash equilibrium, and therefore our approach leads to the first algorithm for computing quantal response equilibria in extremely large games. Our algorithms for (quadratically) regularized equilibrium finding are orders of magnitude faster than the fastest algorithms for Nash equilibrium finding; this suggests regret-minimization algorithms based on decreasing regularization for Nash equilibrium finding as future work. Finally we show that our framework enables a new kind of scalable opponent exploitation approach.




How to Cite

Farina, G., Kroer, C., & Sandholm, T. (2019). Online Convex Optimization for Sequential Decision Processes and Extensive-Form Games. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 33(01), 1917-1925.



AAAI Technical Track: Game Theory and Economic Paradigms