MASTER EQUATIONS FOR FINITE STATE MEAN FIELD GAMES WITH NONLINEAR ACTIVATIONS

Authors

Gao, Y; Liu, JG; Li, W

Abstract

We formulate a class of mean field games on a finite state space with variational principles resembling those in continuous-state mean field games. We construct a controlled continuity equation featuring a nonlinear activation function on graphs induced by finite-state reversible continuous time Markov chains. In these graphs, each edge is weighted by the transition probability and invariant measure of the original process. Using these controlled dynamics on the graph and the dynamic programming principle for the value function, we derive several key components: the mean field game systems, the functional Hamilton-Jacobi equations, and the master equations on a finite probability space for potential mean field games. The existence and uniqueness of solutions to the potential mean field game system are ensured through a convex optimization reformulation in terms of the density-flux pair. We also derive variational principles for the master equations of both non-potential games and mixed games on a continuous state space. Finally, we offer several concrete examples of discrete mean field game dynamics on a two-point space, complete with closed-formula solutions. These examples include discrete Wasserstein distances, mean field planning, and potential mean field games.