##### Learning Probably Approximately Correct Maximin Strategies in Simulation-Based Games with Infinite Strategy Spaces

###### Authors:

Alberto Marchesi, Francesco Trovò, Nicola Gatti

**Conference: **

AAMAS 2020

**Abstract**:

We tackle the problem of learning equilibria in simulation-based games. In such games, the players’ utility functions cannot be described analytically, as they are given through a black-box simulator that can be queried to obtain noisy estimates of the utilities. This is the case in many real-world games in which a complete description of the elements involved is not available upfront, such as complex military settings and online auctions. In these situations, one usually needs to run costly simulation processes to get an accurate estimate of the game outcome. As a result, solving these games begets the challenge of designing learning algorithms that can find (approximate) equilibria with high confidence, using as few simulator queries as possible. Moreover, since running the simulator during the game is unfeasible, the algorithms must first perform a pure exploration learning phase and, then, use the (approximate) equilibrium learned this way to play the game. In this work, we focus on two-player zero-sum games with infinite strategy spaces. Drawing from the best arm identification literature, we design two algorithms with theoretical guarantees to learn maximin strategies in these games. The first one works in the fixed-confidence setting, guaranteeing the desired confidence level while minimizing the number of queries. Instead, the second algorithm fits the fixed-budget setting, maximizing the confidence without exceeding the given maximum number of queries. First, we formally prove δ-PAC theoretical guarantees for our algorithms under some regularity assumptions, which are encoded by letting the utility functions be drawn from a Gaussian process. Then, we experimentally evaluate our techniques on a testbed made of randomly generated games and instances representing simple real-world security settings.