Exact Penalization of Generalized Nash Equilibrium Problems

Qin Ba, Jong-Shi Pang

This paper presents an exact penalization theory of the generalized Nash equilibrium problem (GNEP) that has its origin from the renowned Arrow-Debreu general economic equilibrium model. While the latter model is the foundation of much of mathematical economics, the GNEP provides a mathematical model of multi-agent non-cooperative competition that has found many contemporary applications in diverse engineering domains. The most salient feature of the GNEP that distinguishes it from a standard non-cooperative (Nash) game is that each player's optimization problem contains constraints that couple all players' decision variables. Extending results for stand-alone optimization problems, the penalization theory aims to convert the GNEP into a game of the standard kind without the coupled constraints, which is known to be more readily amenable to solution methods and analysis. Starting with an illustrative example to motivate the development, the paper focuses on two kinds of coupled constraints, shared (i.e., common) and finitely representable. Constraint residual functions and the associated error bound theory play an important role throughout the development.

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