We study algorithmic Bayesian persuasion problems in which the principal (a.k.a. the sender) has to persuade multiple agents (a.k.a. receivers) by using public communication channels. Specifically, our model follows the multi-receiver model with no inter-agent externalities introduced by Arieli and Babichenko (J Econ Theory 182:185–217, 2019). It is known that the problem of computing a sender-optimal public persuasive signaling scheme is not approximable even in simple settings. Therefore, prior works usually focus on determining restricted classes of the problem for which efficient approximation is possible. Typically, positive results in this space amounts to finding bi-criteria approximation algorithms yielding an almost optimal and almost persuasive solution in polynomial time. In this paper, we take a different perspective and study the persuasion problem in the general setting where the space of the states of nature, the action space of the receivers, and the utility function of the sender can be arbitrary. We fully characterize the computational complexity of computing a bi-criteria approximation of an optimal public signaling scheme in such settings. In particular, we show that, assuming the Exponential Time Hypothesis, solving this problem requires at least a quasi-polynomial number of steps even in instances with simple utility functions and binary action spaces such as an election with the k-voting rule. In doing so, we prove that a relaxed version of the MAXIMUM FEASIBLE SUBSYSTEM OF LINEAR INEQUALITIES problem requires at least quasi-polynomial time to be solved. Finally, we close the gap by providing a quasi-polynomial time bi-criteria approximation algorithm for arbitrary public persuasion problems that, under mild assumptions, yields a QPTAS.

Public Bayesian persuasion: being almost optimal and almost persuasive

Castiglioni, Matteo;Celli, Andrea
;
Gatti, Nicola
2023

Abstract

We study algorithmic Bayesian persuasion problems in which the principal (a.k.a. the sender) has to persuade multiple agents (a.k.a. receivers) by using public communication channels. Specifically, our model follows the multi-receiver model with no inter-agent externalities introduced by Arieli and Babichenko (J Econ Theory 182:185–217, 2019). It is known that the problem of computing a sender-optimal public persuasive signaling scheme is not approximable even in simple settings. Therefore, prior works usually focus on determining restricted classes of the problem for which efficient approximation is possible. Typically, positive results in this space amounts to finding bi-criteria approximation algorithms yielding an almost optimal and almost persuasive solution in polynomial time. In this paper, we take a different perspective and study the persuasion problem in the general setting where the space of the states of nature, the action space of the receivers, and the utility function of the sender can be arbitrary. We fully characterize the computational complexity of computing a bi-criteria approximation of an optimal public signaling scheme in such settings. In particular, we show that, assuming the Exponential Time Hypothesis, solving this problem requires at least a quasi-polynomial number of steps even in instances with simple utility functions and binary action spaces such as an election with the k-voting rule. In doing so, we prove that a relaxed version of the MAXIMUM FEASIBLE SUBSYSTEM OF LINEAR INEQUALITIES problem requires at least quasi-polynomial time to be solved. Finally, we close the gap by providing a quasi-polynomial time bi-criteria approximation algorithm for arbitrary public persuasion problems that, under mild assumptions, yields a QPTAS.
2023
2023
Castiglioni, Matteo; Celli, Andrea; Gatti, Nicola
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4056576
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