Return to page


What are Shapley Values?

Shapley values are a way of assigning a value to each individual in a group, in order to fairly distribute the total value of the group among its members. This concept was developed by Nobel Prize-winning economist Lloyd Shapley and is used in game theory and social choice theory to determine the contribution of each player to a cooperative game.

The idea behind Shapley's values is to assign a value to each player in a group that reflects their contribution to the group's success. This is done by considering all possible coalitions of players and calculating the marginal contribution of each player to each coalition. The Shapley value of a player is then calculated as the average of their marginal contributions to all possible alliances.


How does Shapley Values work?

Shapley values are a method of awarding a credit or contribution value to each member of a group who contributes to a certain outcome. The main principle underlying Shapley's values is to share the overall value created among the group members in a fair manner that represents each individual's contribution to the outcome.

The first step in calculating Shapley values is to establish the overall value generated by the group. This total value is then allocated among the group members in a way that accounts for each individual's contribution to the outcome. To do this, each individual's contribution is estimated by considering all of the different ways that the group could have contributed to the outcome and then calculating the average of these contributions.


Why are Shapley Values important?

Shapley values are essential because they give a fair and accurate manner of allocating credit or worth to each member in a group who has contributed to a certain outcome. This is especially crucial in instances when it is impossible to ascertain the specific contribution of each individual to the outcome, or where there are numerous individuals who have contributed in various ways.

Shapley values offer a variety of additional essential qualities that make them helpful in a wide range of applications, in addition to providing a fair manner of allocating credit. Shapley values, for example, meet a number of axioms, including symmetry, null player, and linearity, ensuring that the values are rational and understandable. They also have the feature of efficiency, which implies that the sum of the Shapley values for all members of the group always matches the group's total values.


How  are Shapley Values used?

Shapley values are used in a number of disciplines to examine the contributions of individual members of a group and to fairly and accurately allocate credit or worth. The following are some examples of Shapley values in use:

  • Shapley values are used in economics to examine the contributions of individual players in cooperative games such as resource allocation or profit division.

  • Shapley values are used in game theory to examine the strategic conduct of participants in non-cooperative games such as competition or bargaining.

  • Shapley values are used in machine learning to assess the contributions of specific features or variables to a model's overall prediction accuracy. This can aid in identifying the most essential characteristics as well as comprehending the function of each feature in the model's predictions.

  • Shapley values are used in social choice theory to assess voting systems and estimate how much impact each voter has on the result of an election.