Communications in Information and Systems

Volume 21 (2021)

Number 2

Zero-sum differential games on the Wasserstein space

Pages: 219 – 251



Tamer Başar (Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Il., U.S.A.)

Jun Moon (Department of Electrical Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea)


We consider two-player zero-sum differential games (ZSDGs), where the state process (dynamical system) depends on the random initial condition and the state process’s distribution, and the objective functional includes the state process’s distribution and the random target variable. Unlike ZSDGs studied in the existing literature, the ZSDG of this paper introduces a new technical challenge, since the corresponding (lower and upper) value functions are defined on $\mathcal{P}_2$ (the set of probability measures with finite second moments) or $\mathcal{L}_2$ (the set of random variables with finite second moments), both of which are infinite-dimensional spaces. We show that the (lower and upper) value functions on $\mathcal{P}_2$ and $\mathcal{L}_2$ are equivalent (law invariant) and continuous, satisfying dynamic programming principles. We use the notion of derivative of a function of probability measures in $\mathcal{P}_2$ and its lifted version in $\mathcal{L}_2$ to show that the (lower and upper) value functions are unique viscosity solutions to the associated (lower and upper) Hamilton–Jacobi–Isaacs equations, which are (infinite-dimensional) first-order PDEs on $\mathcal{P}_2$ and $\mathcal{L}_2$, where the uniqueness is obtained via the comparison principle. Under the Isaacs condition, we show that the ZSDG has a value.

The research of Tamer Başar was supported in part by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) MURI Grant N00014-16-1-2710, and in part by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Grant FA9550-19-1-0353.

The research of Jun Moon was supported in part by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT, Korea (NRF-2017R1E1A1A03070936, NRF-2017R1A5A1015311), and in part by Institute for Information & communications Technology Promotion (IITP) grant funded by the Korea government, Korea (No. 2018-0-00958).

The authors are named in alphabetical order.

Received 18 May 2020

Published 3 June 2021