Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 284–312 | Cite as

Dependence in games and dependence games

  • Davide Grossi
  • Paolo Turrini
Open Access


In the multi-agent systems community, dependence theory and game theory are often presented as two alternative perspectives on the analysis of agent interaction. The paper presents a formal analysis of a notion of dependence between players, given in terms of standard game-theoretic notions of rationality such as dominant strategy and best response. This brings the notion of dependence within the realm of game theory providing it with the sort of mathematical foundations which still lacks. Concretely, the paper presents two results: first, it shows how the proposed notion of dependence allows for an elegant characterization of a property of reciprocity for outcomes in strategic games; and second, it shows how the notion can be used to define new classes of coalitional games, where coalitions can force outcomes only in the presence of reciprocal dependencies.


Dependence theory Game theory Multi-agent systems 



The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers of AAMAS’10 and COMSOC’10, where previous versions of the work have been presented, and the anonymous reviewers of JAAMAS. Their remarks have been of great help for developing the present version of the work. Davide Grossi wishes to acknowledge support by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) under the VENI grant 639.021.816.

Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Logic, Language and ComputationUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Information and Computing SciencesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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