The Confluence of Networks, Games and Learning

05/17/2021 ∙ by Tao Li, et al. ∙ 16

Recent years have witnessed significant advances in technologies and services in modern network applications, including smart grid management, wireless communication, cybersecurity as well as multi-agent autonomous systems. Considering the heterogeneous nature of networked entities, emerging network applications call for game-theoretic models and learning-based approaches in order to create distributed network intelligence that responds to uncertainties and disruptions in a dynamic or an adversarial environment. This paper articulates the confluence of networks, games and learning, which establishes a theoretical underpinning for understanding multi-agent decision-making over networks. We provide an selective overview of game-theoretic learning algorithms within the framework of stochastic approximation theory, and associated applications in some representative contexts of modern network systems, such as the next generation wireless communication networks, the smart grid and distributed machine learning. In addition to existing research works on game-theoretic learning over networks, we highlight several new angles and research endeavors on learning in games that are related to recent developments in artificial intelligence. Some of the new angles extrapolate from our own research interests. The overall objective of the paper is to provide the reader a clear picture of the strengths and challenges of adopting game-theoretic learning methods within the context of network systems, and further to identify fruitful future research directions on both theoretical and applied studies.

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