Game Theory and Control

Jason R. Marden, Jeff S. Shamma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Game theory is the study of decision problems in which there are multiple decision makers and the quality of a decision maker's choice depends on both that choice and the choices of others. While game theory has been studied predominantly as a modeling paradigm in the mathematical social sciences, there is a strong connection to control systems in that a controller can be viewed as a decision-making entity. Accordingly, game theory is relevant in settings with multiple interacting controllers. This article presents an introduction to game theory, followed by a sampling of results in three specific control theory topics where game theory has played a significant role: (a) zero-sum games, in which the two competing players are a controller and an adversarial environment; (b) team games, in which several controllers pursue a common goal but have access to different information; and (c) distributed control, in which both a game and online adaptive rules are designed to enable distributed interacting subsystems to achieve a collective objective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-134
Number of pages30
JournalAnnual Review of Control, Robotics, and Autonomous Systems
StatePublished - May 28 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Distributed control
  • Game theory
  • Learning in games
  • Mechanism design
  • Team games
  • Zero-sum games

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Game Theory and Control'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this