Princeton University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Network Games

Prof. Asu Ozdaglar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
B205 Engineering Quadrangle
Thursday, May 2, 2019 - 4:30pm


In many social and economic settings, decisions of individuals are affected by the actions of their friends, colleagues, and peers. Examples include adoption of new products and innovations, opinion formation and social learning, public good provision, financial exchanges and international trade. Network games have emerged as a powerful framework to study these settings with particular focus on how the underlying patterns of interactions, governed by a network, affect the economic outcomes. For tractability reasons, much of the work in this area studied games with special structure (e.g., quadratic cost functions, scalar non-negative strategies) or special properties (e.g., games of strategic complements or substitutes).

In this talk, we will present a unified framework based on a variational inequality reformulation of the Nash equilibrium to study equilibrium properties of network games including existence and uniqueness, convergence of the best response dynamics and comparative statics. Our framework extends the literature in multiple dimensions, covering games with general strategic interactions and multidimensional and constrained strategy sets. In the second part of the talk, we will present a new class of infinite populations games, graphon games, that can capture heterogenous local interactions. We will show how graphon games can approximate strategic behavior and allow design of intervention policies for sampled network games that are robust to stochastic variations. This is joint work with Francesca Parise.


Asu Ozdaglar received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, in 1996, and the S.M. and the Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, in 1998 and 2003, respectively. She is the Distinguished Professor of Engineering in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also the department head of EECS. Her research expertise includes optimization theory, with emphasis on nonlinear programming and convex analysis, game theory, with applications in communication, social, and economic networks, distributed optimization and control, and network analysis with special emphasis on contagious processes, systemic risk and dynamic control.

Professor Ozdaglar is the recipient of a Microsoft fellowship, the MIT Graduate Student Council Teaching award, the NSF Career award, the 2008 Donald P. Eckman award of the American Automatic Control Council, the Class of 1943 Career Development Chair, the inaugural Steven and Renee Innovation Fellowship, and the 2014 Spira teaching award.  She served on the Board of Governors of the Control System Society in 2010 and was an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control. She was the inaugural area co-editor for the area entitled "Games, Information and Networks” in the journal Operations Research .She is the co-author of the book entitled “Convex Analysis and Optimization” (Athena Scientific, 2003).

This seminar is supported with funds from the Bede Liu Fund for Excellence in Engineering.