Strategic Data Sharing between Competitors
Keywords: Incentives, collaborative learning, federated learning, game theory, competition, oligopolistic markets, strategic behavior, Nash equilibrium
Abstract: Collaborative learning techniques have significantly advanced in recent years, enabling private model training across multiple organizations. Despite this opportunity, firms face a dilemma when considering data sharing with competitors—while collaboration can improve a company’s machine learning model, it may also benefit competitors and hence reduce profits. In this work, we introduce a general framework for analyzing this data-sharing trade-off. The framework consists of three components, representing the firms’ production decisions, the effect of additional data on model quality, and the data-sharing negotiation process, respectively. We then study an instantiation of the framework, based on a conventional market model from economic theory, to identify key factors that affect collaboration incentives. Our findings indicate a profound impact of market conditions on the data-sharing incentives. In particular, we find that reduced competition, in terms of the similarities between the firms’ products, and harder learning tasks foster collaboration.
Submission Number: 28