Exploiting Symmetry in High-Dimensional Dynamic Programming


We propose a new method for solving high-dimensional dynamic programming problems and recursive competitive equilibria with a large (but finite) number of heterogeneous agents using deep learning. We avoid the curse of dimensionality thanks to three complementary techniques: (1) exploiting symmetry in the approximate law of motion and the value function; (2) constructing a concentration of measure to calculate high-dimensional expectations using a single Monte Carlo draw from the distribution of idiosyncratic shocks; and (3) designing and training deep learning architectures that exploit symmetry and concentration of measure. As an application, we find a global solution of a multi-firm version of the classic Lucas and Prescott (1971) model of investment under uncertainty. First, we compare the solution against a linear-quadratic Gaussian version for validation and benchmarking. Next, we solve the nonlinear version where no accurate or closed-form solution exists. Finally, we describe how our approach applies to a large class of models in economics.

Working Paper