Public Goods Games in Directed Networks

by   Christos Papadimitriou, et al.

Public goods games in undirected networks are generally known to have pure Nash equilibria, which are easy to find. In contrast, we prove that, in directed networks, a broad range of public goods games have intractable equilibrium problems: The existence of pure Nash equilibria is NP-hard to decide, and mixed Nash equilibria are PPAD-hard to find. We define general utility public goods games, and prove a complexity dichotomy result for finding pure equilibria, and a PPAD-completeness proof for mixed Nash equilibria. Even in the divisible goods variant of the problem, where existence is easy to prove, finding the equilibrium is PPAD-complete. Finally, when the treewidth of the directed network is appropriately bounded, we prove that polynomial-time algorithms are possible.



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