Finding Core Members of Cooperative Games using Agent-Based Modeling

08/30/2020 ∙ by Daniele Vernon-Bido, et al. ∙ 12

Agent-based modeling (ABM) is a powerful paradigm to gain insight into social phenomena. One area that ABM has rarely been applied is coalition formation. Traditionally, coalition formation is modeled using cooperative game theory. In this paper, a heuristic algorithm is developed that can be embedded into an ABM to allow the agents to find coalition. The resultant coalition structures are comparable to those found by cooperative game theory solution approaches, specifically, the core. A heuristic approach is required due to the computational complexity of finding a cooperative game theory solution which limits its application to about only a score of agents. The ABM paradigm provides a platform in which simple rules and interactions between agents can produce a macro-level effect without the large computational requirements. As such, it can be an effective means for approximating cooperative game solutions for large numbers of agents. Our heuristic algorithm combines agent-based modeling and cooperative game theory to help find agent partitions that are members of a games' core solution. The accuracy of our heuristic algorithm can be determined by comparing its outcomes to the actual core solutions. This comparison achieved by developing an experiment that uses a specific example of a cooperative game called the glove game. The glove game is a type of exchange economy game. Finding the traditional cooperative game theory solutions is computationally intensive for large numbers of players because each possible partition must be compared to each possible coalition to determine the core set; hence our experiment only considers games of up to nine players. The results indicate that our heuristic approach achieves a core solution over 90 of the time for the games considered in our experiment.



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