Settling the complexity of computing approximate two-player Nash equilibria

Settling the complexity of computing approximate two-player Nash equilibria - Nash equilibria

Aviad Rubinstein
University of California, Berkeley
November 1, 2016
We prove that there exists a constant $\epsilon > 0$ such that, assuming the Exponential Time Hypothesis for PPAD, computing an $\epsilon$-approximate Nash equilibrium in a two-player ($n \times n$) game requires quasi-polynomial time, $n^{\log^{1-o(1)}n}$. This matches (up to the $o(1)$ term) the algorithm of Lipton, Markakis, and Mehta [LMM03]. Our proof relies on a variety of techniques from the study of probabilistically checkable proofs (PCP); this is the first time that such ideas are used for a reduction between problems inside PPAD.