Sequential Equilibrium in Games of Imperfect Recall

Joseph Y. Halpern, Rafael Pass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the definition of sequential equilibrium can be applied without change to games of imperfect recall, doing so leads to arguably inappropriate results. We redefine sequential equilibrium so that the definition agrees with the standard definition in games of perfect recall while still giving reasonable results in games of imperfect recall. The definition can be viewed as trying to capture a notion of ex ante sequential equilibrium. The picture here is that players choose their strategies before the game starts and are committed to it, but they choose it in such a way that it remains optimal even off the equilibrium path. A notion of interim sequential equilibrium is also considered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3485002
JournalACM Transactions on Economics and Computation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Absentmindedness
  • imperfect recall
  • sequential equilibrium


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