Graphon Games: A Statistical Framework for Network Games and Interventions
62 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2019 Last revised: 30 Jun 2020
Date Written: June 30, 2020
In this paper, we present a unifying framework for analyzing equilibria and designing interventions for large network games sampled from a stochastic network formation process represented by a graphon. We first introduce a new class of infinite population games, termed graphon games, where a continuum of heterogeneous agents interact according to a graphon. After studying properties of equilibria in graphon games, we show that graphon equilibria can approximate equilibria of large network games sampled from the graphon. We next show that, under some regularity assumptions, the graphon approach enables the design of asymptotically optimal interventions via the solution of an optimization problem with much lower dimension than the one based on the entire network structure. We illustrate our framework on a synthetic dataset of rural villages and show that the graphon intervention can be computed efficiently and based solely on aggregated relational data.
Keywords: Network games, graphons, aggregative games, large population games, Nash equilibrium, targeted interventions, Bayesian Nash equilibrium
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