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A game theory approach to the existence and uniqueness of nonlinear Perron-Frobenius eigenvectors

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    * Corresponding author

The first and second authors were partially supported by the Gaspard Monge corporate sponsorship Program (PGMO) of EDF, Orange, Thales and Fondation Mathématique Jacques Hadmard, by the iCODE Institute, research project of the IDEX Paris-Saclay, and by the Hadamard Mathematics LabEx (LMH) through the grant number ANR-11-LABX-0056-LMH in the "Programme des Investissements d'Avenir"

The third author is supported by FONDECYT grant 3180662

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  • We establish a generalized Perron-Frobenius theorem, based on a combinatorial criterion which entails the existence of an eigenvector for any nonlinear order-preserving and positively homogeneous map $ f $ acting on the open orthant $ \mathbb{R}_{ >0}^n $. This criterion involves dominions, i.e., sets of states that can be made invariant by one player in a two-person game that only depends on the behavior of $ f $ "at infinity". In this way, we characterize the situation in which for all $ \alpha, \beta > 0 $, the "slice space" $ \mathcal{S}_\alpha^\beta : = \{ x \in \mathbb{R}_{ >0}^n \mid \alpha x \leqslant f(x) \leqslant \beta x \} $ is bounded in Hilbert's projective metric, or, equivalently, for all uniform perturbations $ g $ of $ f $, all the orbits of $ g $ are bounded in Hilbert's projective metric. This solves a problem raised by Gaubert and Gunawardena (Trans. AMS, 2004). We also show that the uniqueness of an eigenvector is characterized by a dominion condition, involving a different game depending now on the local behavior of $ f $ near an eigenvector. We show that the dominion conditions can be verified by directed hypergraph methods. We finally illustrate these results by considering specific classes of nonlinear maps, including Shapley operators, generalized means and nonnegative tensors.

    Mathematics Subject Classification: Primary: 47J10; Secondary: 47H09, 47H07, 91A15.


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  • Figure 1.  The hypergraphs $ \mathcal{H}_\infty^\pm(T) $ associated with $ T $ defined by (2)

    Figure 2.  The hypergraphs $ \mathcal{H}_\infty^\pm(T) $ associated with $ T $ (12)

    Figure 3.  The graph $ \mathcal{G}_\infty( \mathcal{F}) $ and the hypergraph $ \mathcal{H}_\infty( \mathcal{F}) $ associated with the nonnegative tensor $ \mathcal{F} $

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