Algorithms for Closed Under Rational Behavior (CURB) Sets

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We provide a series of algorithms demonstrating that solutions according to the fundamental game-theoretic solution concept of closed under rational behavior (CURB) sets in two-player, normal-form games can be computed in polynomial time (we also discuss extensions to n-player games). First, we describe an algorithm that identifies all of a players best responses conditioned on the belief that the other player will play from within a given subset of its strategy space. This algorithm serves as a subroutine in a series of polynomial-time algorithms for finding all minimal CURB sets, one minimal CURB set, and the smallest minimal CURB set in a game. We then show that the complexity of finding a Nash equilibrium can be exponential only in the size of a games smallest CURB set. Related to this, we show that the smallest CURB set can be an arbitrarily small portion of the game, but it can also be arbitrarily larger than the supports of its only enclosed Nash equilibrium. We test our algorithms empirically and find that most commonly studied academic games tend to have either very large or very small minimal CURB sets.

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