Game Theory

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The study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent, rational decisionmakers, game theory is also known more descriptively as interactive decision theory. For more than seven decades, RAND researchers have used game theory to explore economics, political science, psychology, and conflict.

  • chess board

    Commercial Book

    A Primer on the Theory of Games of Strategy

    Dec 1, 1954

    This 1954 classic on basic concepts of game theory and its applications popularized the subject for amateurs, professionals, and students throughout the world.

  • People wait in line in a Disneyland parking lot to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site in Anaheim, California, January 13, 2021, photo by Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

    Commentary

    How Game Theory Could Solve the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Puzzle

    Mar 11, 2021

    The health systems behind the vaccine rollout are attempting to create order from chaos, sometimes with mixed results. Rather than relying on on-the-fly decisionmaking, state authorities should consider turning to game theory as a tool that could be the key to more efficient, faster vaccine distribution.

Explore Game Theory

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    On Market Games

    In this study, the "market games" -- games that derive from an exchange economy in which the traders have continuous concave monetary utility functions -- are shown to be the same as the "totally balanced games" -- games which, with all their subgames, possess cores.

    Dec 1, 1968

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    A Two Party System, General Equilibrium, and the Voters' Paradox.

    An application of the techniques of mathematical modeling and game theory to an investigation of the voting process and its function in the political economy of a democracy with competitive markets. The investigation is limited to the study of a two...

    Jan 1, 1968

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    n-Person Game Theory

    A brief discussion of the current trends of research into the theory of n-person games.

    Jan 1, 1968

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    A Game with No Solution

    A report of a theoretical result in the mathematical theory of [n]-person games.

    Jan 1, 1967

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    Utility Comparison and the Theory of Games

    Considers interpersonal comparison of utility in game theory.

    Jan 1, 1967

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    Notes on N-Person Games VII: Cores of Convex Games

    The core of an [n]-person game is the set of outcomes that cannot be blocked by any coalition of players. The Memorandum demonstrates that the core of a convex game has an especially regular structure, and that it is closely related to ...

    Oct 1, 1965

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    On Balanced Sets and Cores

    This Memorandum establishes a direct correspondence between the balanced sets of coalitions of a multi-person game and the conditions that determine whether the game has a core.

    Jun 1, 1965

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    A Preliminary Treatment of Mobile SLBM Defense: Game Theoretic Analysis

    A game analysis of the deployment of a defense system against submarine-launched ballistic missiles composed of mobile defense units capable of destroying a nearby submarine and its missiles at the time of launch.

    Jan 1, 1965

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    Games and simulations

    A discussion of the usefulness of game theory for military analysis. The prevailing pessimism is premature and subject to reexamination. The advantages of a game-theoretic analysis are large. They include the possibility of dealing with a wide spectr...

    Jan 1, 1964

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    Compound Simple Games II: Some General Composition Theorems

    This Memorandum investigates solutions of the type of compound game formed when the players of a given m-person game are replaced by m committees, each having its own special voting rule or other method of reaching a decision.

    Jul 1, 1963

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    Concepts and Theories of Pure Competition

    An examination of a classical formulation of the marketplace from three different theoretical viewpoints.

    May 1, 1963

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    Compound Simple Games I: Solutions of Sums and Products

    An investigation of the solutions of the games that are formed by combining two or more simple games, played by separate groups of individuals.

    Jun 1, 1962

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    Optimal Altitude for Antimissile Detonations: A Game Theory Analysis

    A game-theoretic approach to determining the best strategy for both the attacker and the defender in a situation in which an ICBM plunges toward a target defended by one or more AICBM missiles.

    Jan 1, 1962

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    On the Nonconvergence of Fictitious Play

    An examination of the "method of fictitious play," generally considered a useful tool in game- theoretic analysis.

    Jan 1, 1962

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    Values of Games With Infinitely Many Players

    An informal account of the power structure of voting games having a denumerable infinity of players. Special attention is given to the class of "binary games" in which each player has twice as much voting strength as the next.

    Dec 1, 1961

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    Simple Games : An Outline of the Descriptive Theory

    A presentation of the elementary properties of "simple" games.

    Apr 11, 1961

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    The rendezvous value of a metric space.

    A proof of some theorems about average distances of finite collections of points in a compact-connected metric space by means of game theory....

    Jan 1, 1961

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    Values of Large Games, II: Oceanic Games

    Part of a continuing effort to extend the applications of n-person game theory.

    Jan 1, 1961

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    Values of Large Games, V: An 18-Person Market Game

    Part of a continuing effort to extend applications of n-person game theory. This memorandum applies the principles of modern game theory to a set of imaginary horse-market transactions described in Bohm-Bawerk's Positive Theory of Capital (1891).

    Jan 1, 1961

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    How useful are 'scientific' tools of management.

    A description of the usefulness of such scientific tools of management as linear and dynamic programming, queueing theory, game theory, simulation, and Monte Carlo. These tools are defined in terms of a model or a symbolic representation of the porbl...

    Jan 1, 1961