Game Theory

Application Of Game Theory

Game theory is a powerful tool that can suggest the best strategy or outcome in many different situations. Economists, political scientists, the military, and sociologists have all used it to describe situations in their various fields. A recent application of game theory has been in the study of the behavior of animals in nature. Here, researchers are applying the notions of game theory to describe the effectiveness of many aspects of animal behavior including aggression, cooperation, hunting and many more. Data collected from these studies may someday result in a better understanding of our own human behaviors.

Resources

Books

Beasley, John D. The Mathematics of Games. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.

Hoffman, Paul. Archimedes' Revenge: The Joys and Perils of Mathematics. New York: Fawcett Crest, 1988.

Newman, James R., ed. The World of Mathematics. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956.

Paulos, John Allen. Beyond Numeracy. New York: Alfred A. Knopf Inc, 1991.

Perry Romanowski

KEY TERMS

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Coalition

—A situation in a multiple player game in which two or more players join together and act as one.

Game

—A situation in which a conflict arises between two of more players.

Game payoff matrix

—A mathematical tool which indicates the relationship between a players payoff and the outcomes of a game.

Minimax theorem

—The central theorem of game theory. It states that for any zero-sum two-player game there is a strategy which leads to a solution.

Nonzero-sum game

—A game in which the amount lost by all players is not equal to the amount won by all other players.

Optimal pure strategy

—A definite set of choices which eads to the solution of a game.

Probabilistic (mixed) strategy

—A set of choices which depends on randomness to find the solution of a game.

Zero-sum, two-player games

—A game in which the amount lost by all players is equal to the amount won by all other players.