Fixed point for negamaxing probability distributions on
regular trees
Warren D. Smith NECI
Abstract
Consider a rooted tree with branching factor $b > 1$ having $b^h$
leafs, each at distance $h$ from the root. Suppose the leafs are
assigned real values chosen i.i.d. from some probability density, and
the interior nodes of the tree are then also assigned values
recursively, according to the {\em negamax rule}: The value of a node
is the maximum of the negated values of its children.
The root will then be a random variable, with some probability
distribution $\Phi_h ( x )$ depending on $b$, $h$, and the
distribution $\Phi_0 ( x )$ of leaf values, and indeed obeying certain
recursive relations.
We find a closed form for $\Phi_h ( x )$. It then turns out that
(usually) the behavior of the distribution at the root, when $h$
becomes sufficiently large, is, except for scaling, asymptotically
{\em independent} of the nature of $\Phi_0 ( x )$ and $h$ and depends
only on $b$. The function merely scales self-similarly as $h$ becomes
larger. This may be thought of as a new kind of central limit
theorem.
The limiting form $\Psi_b ( x )$,
is apparently new to probability theory
and is of intrinsic interest as a new special function.
Its properties are investigated here, but
much remains unknown.
Keywords
Minimax, negamax, Poincare equation, Schr\"oder equation,
attractive fixed point, probability distributions, iterative
functional equation, special functions, on-line quantile estimates.