Stability of Gradient Learning Dynamics in Continuous Games: Vector Action Spaces

11/07/2020
by   Benjamin J. Chasnov, et al.
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Towards characterizing the optimization landscape of games, this paper analyzes the stability of gradient-based dynamics near fixed points of two-player continuous games. We introduce the quadratic numerical range as a method to characterize the spectrum of game dynamics and prove the robustness of equilibria to variations in learning rates. By decomposing the game Jacobian into symmetric and skew-symmetric components, we assess the contribution of a vector field's potential and rotational components to the stability of differential Nash equilibria. Our results show that in zero-sum games, all Nash are stable and robust; in potential games, all stable points are Nash. For general-sum games, we provide a sufficient condition for instability. We conclude with a numerical example in which learning with timescale separation results in faster convergence.

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