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Stable-Predictive Optimistic Counterfactual Regret Minimization
Gabriele Farina · Christian Kroer · Noam Brown · Tuomas Sandholm

Tue Jun 11 06:30 PM -- 09:00 PM (PDT) @ Pacific Ballroom #152
The CFR framework has been a powerful tool for solving large-scale extensive-form games in practice. However, the theoretical rate at which past CFR-based algorithms converge to the Nash equilibrium is on the order of $O(T^{-1/2})$, where $T$ is the number of iterations. In contrast, first-order methods can be used to achieve a $O(T^{-1})$ dependence on iterations, yet these methods have been less successful in practice. In this work we present the first CFR variant that breaks the square-root dependence on iterations. By combining and extending recent advances on predictive and stable regret minimizers for the matrix-game setting we show that it is possible to leverage ``optimistic'' regret minimizers to achieve a $O(T^{-3/4})$ convergence rate within CFR. This is achieved by introducing a new notion of stable-predictivity, and by setting the stability of each counterfactual regret minimizer relative to its location in the decision tree. Experiments show that this method is faster than the original CFR algorithm, although not as fast as newer variants, in spite of their worst-case $O(T^{-1/2})$ dependence on iterations.

Author Information

Gabriele Farina (Carnegie Mellon University)
Christian Kroer (Columbia University)
Noam Brown (CMU)
Tuomas Sandholm (Carnegie Mellon University)

Tuomas Sandholm is Angel Jordan Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He is Founder and Director of the Electronic Marketplaces Laboratory. He has published over 450 papers. With his student Vince Conitzer, he initiated the study of automated mechanism design in 2001. In parallel with his academic career, he was Founder, Chairman, and CTO/Chief Scientist of CombineNet, Inc. from 1997 until its acquisition in 2010. During this period the company commercialized over 800 of the world's largest-scale generalized combinatorial multi-attribute auctions, with over $60 billion in total spend and over $6 billion in generated savings. He is Founder and CEO of Optimized Markets, Strategic Machine, and Strategy Robot. Also, his algorithms run the UNOS kidney exchange, which includes 69% of the transplant centers in the US. He has developed the leading algorithms for several general classes of game. The team that he leads is the two-time world champion in computer Heads-Up No-Limit Texas Hold’em poker, and Libratus became the first and only AI to beat top humans at that game. Among his many honors are the NSF Career Award, inaugural ACM Autonomous Agents Research Award, Sloan Fellowship, Carnegie Science Center Award for Excellence, Edelman Laureateship, Newell Award for Research Excellence, and Computers and Thought Award. He is Fellow of the ACM, AAAI, and INFORMS. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich.

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