This was part of Machine Learning and Mean-Field Games

An Overview of Learning Mean Field Games

Mathieu Lauriere, NYU Shanghai
Thursday, May 26, 2022

Abstract: Non-cooperative and cooperative games with a very large number of players have many applications but remain generally intractable when the number of players increases. Introduced by Lasry and Lions (2007) and Huang et al. (2006), Mean Field Games (MFGs) rely on a mean-field approximation to allow the number of players to grow to infinity. Traditional methods for solving these games generally rely on solving partial or stochastic differential equations with a full knowledge of the model. Recently, Reinforcement Learning (RL) has appeared promising to solve complex problems. By combining MFGs and RL, we hope to solve games at a very large scale both in terms of population size and environment complexity. In this talk, we review the quickly growing recent literature on RL methods to learn Nash equilibria in MFGs. We first identify the most common settings (static, stationary, and evolutive). We then present a general framework for classical iterative methods (based on best-response computation or policy evaluation) to solve MFGs in an exact way. Building on these algorithms and the connection with Markov Decision Processes, we explain how RL can be used to learn MFG solutions in a model-free way. Last, we present numerical illustrations on a benchmark problem, and conclude with some perspectives.