On the Complexity of Iterated Weak Dominance in Constant-Sum Games

  • Felix Brandt
  • Markus Brill
  • Felix Fischer
  • Paul Harrenstein
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5814)


In game theory, a player’s action is said to be weakly dominated if there exists another action that, with respect to what the other players do, is never worse and sometimes strictly better. We investigate the computational complexity of the process of iteratively eliminating weakly dominated actions (IWD) in two-player constant-sum games, i.e., games in which the interests of both players are diametrically opposed. It turns out that deciding whether an action is eliminable via IWD is feasible in polynomial time whereas deciding whether a given subgame is reachable via IWD is NP-complete. The latter result is quite surprising as we are not aware of other natural computational problems that are intractable in constant-sum games. Furthermore, we slightly improve a result by Conitzer and Sandholm [6] by showing that typical problems associated with IWD in win-lose games with at most one winner are NP-complete.


Polynomial Time Solution Concept Weak Dominance Elimination Sequence Strict Dominance 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felix Brandt
    • 1
  • Markus Brill
    • 1
  • Felix Fischer
    • 1
  • Paul Harrenstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für InformatikLudwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenMünchenGermany

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