Decision-making by hierarchies of discordant agents

  • Xiaotie Deng
  • Christos Papadimitriou
Session 4B
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1350)


We study the following decision-making scenario: A linear program is solved by a set of agents arranged hierarchically in a tree, where each agent decides the level of certain variables, and has a distinct objective function, known to all agents. Authority is reflected in two ways: Agents higher in the tree set their variables first; and agents that are siblings in the tree resolve their game by focusing on the Nash equilibrium that is optimum for the agent above them. We give a necessary and sufficient condition for such a hierarchy to be efficient (i.e., to have perfect coordination, to ultimately optimize the objective of the firm). We study problems related to designing a hierarchy (assigning decision makers to positions in the tree) in order to achieve efficiency or otherwise optimize coordination.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaotie Deng
    • 1
  • Christos Papadimitriou
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceCity University of Hong KongKowloonHong Kong
  2. 2.Division of Computer ScienceBerkeley

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