Solvency Games

Authors Noam Berger, Nevin Kapur, Leonard Schulman, Vijay Vazirani

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Noam Berger
Nevin Kapur
Leonard Schulman
Vijay Vazirani

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Noam Berger, Nevin Kapur, Leonard Schulman, and Vijay Vazirani. Solvency Games. In IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science. Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 2, pp. 61-72, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2008)


We study the decision theory of a maximally risk-averse investor --- one whose objective, in the face of stochastic uncertainties, is to minimize the probability of ever going broke. With a view to developing the mathematical basics of such a theory, we start with a very simple model and obtain the following results: a characterization of best play by investors; an explanation of why poor and rich players may have different best strategies; an explanation of why expectation-maximization is not necessarily the best strategy even for rich players. For computation of optimal play, we show how to apply the Value Iteration method, and prove a bound on its convergence rate.
  • Decision making under uncertainity
  • multi-arm bandit problems
  • game theory


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