To Reach or not to Reach? Efficient Algorithms for Total-Payoff Games

Authors Thomas Brihaye, Gilles Geeraerts, Axel Haddad, Benjamin Monmege

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Thomas Brihaye
Gilles Geeraerts
Axel Haddad
Benjamin Monmege

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Thomas Brihaye, Gilles Geeraerts, Axel Haddad, and Benjamin Monmege. To Reach or not to Reach? Efficient Algorithms for Total-Payoff Games. In 26th International Conference on Concurrency Theory (CONCUR 2015). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 42, pp. 297-310, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2015)


Quantitative games are two-player zero-sum games played on directed weighted graphs. Total-payoff games - that can be seen as a refinement of the well-studied mean-payoff games - are the variant where the payoff of a play is computed as the sum of the weights. Our aim is to describe the first pseudo-polynomial time algorithm for total-payoff games in the presence of arbitrary weights. It consists of a non-trivial application of the value iteration paradigm. Indeed, it requires to study, as a milestone, a refinement of these games, called min-cost reachability games, where we add a reachability objective to one of the players. For these games, we give an efficient value iteration algorithm to compute the values and optimal strategies (when they exist), that runs in pseudo-polynomial time. We also propose heuristics to speed up the computations.
  • Games on graphs
  • reachability
  • quantitative games
  • value iteration


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