How and Why to Manipulate Your Own Agent: On the Incentives of Users of Learning Agents

Yoav Kolumbus, Noam Nisan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The usage of automated learning agents is becoming increasingly prevalent in many online economic applications such as online auctions and automated trading. Motivated by such applications, this paper is dedicated to fundamental modeling and analysis of the strategic situations that the users of automated learning agents are facing. We consider strategic settings where several users engage in a repeated online interaction, assisted by regret-minimizing learning agents that repeatedly play a “game” on their behalf. We propose to view the outcomes of the agents' dynamics as inducing a “meta-game” between the users. Our main focus is on whether users can benefit in this meta-game from “manipulating” their own agents by misreporting their parameters to them. We define a general framework to model and analyze these strategic interactions between users of learning agents for general games and analyze the equilibria induced between the users in three classes of games. We show that, generally, users have incentives to misreport their parameters to their own agents, and that such strategic user behavior can lead to very different outcomes than those anticipated by standard analysis.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 - 36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2022
EditorsS. Koyejo, S. Mohamed, A. Agarwal, D. Belgrave, K. Cho, A. Oh
PublisherNeural information processing systems foundation
ISBN (Electronic)9781713871088
StatePublished - 2022
Event36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2022 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: 28 Nov 20229 Dec 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
Volume35
ISSN (Print)1049-5258

Conference

Conference36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period28/11/229/12/22

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Neural information processing systems foundation. All rights reserved.

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