Hedging in games: Faster convergence of external and swap regrets

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

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Xi Chen, Binghui Peng


We consider the setting where players run the Hedge algorithm or its optimistic variant \cite{syrgkanis2015fast} to play an n-action game repeatedly for T rounds. 1) For two-player games, we show that the regret of optimistic Hedge decays at \tilde{O}( 1/T ^{5/6} ), improving the previous bound O(1/T^{3/4}) by \cite{syrgkanis2015fast}. 2) In contrast, we show that the convergence rate of vanilla Hedge is no better than \tilde{\Omega}(1/ \sqrt{T})}, addressing an open question posted in \cite{syrgkanis2015fast}. For general m-player games, we show that the swap regret of each player decays at rate \tilde{O}(m^{1/2} (n/T)^{3/4}) when they combine optimistic Hedge with the classical external-to-internal reduction of Blum and Mansour \cite{blum2007external}. The algorithm can also be modified to achieve the same rate against itself and a rate of \tilde{O}(\sqrt{n/T}) against adversaries. Via standard connections, our upper bounds also imply faster convergence to coarse correlated equilibria in two-player games and to correlated equilibria in multiplayer games.