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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    Report

    Polynomial Games

    A presentation of a basis for a theory of two-person zero-sum games in which the payoff is a polynomial function of the two strategy variables.

    Apr 13, 1950

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    Report

    Equilibrium points in game theory.

    A discussion of equilibrium points in n-person games, with a comparison of the Cournot, Stackelberg, and Edgeworth solutions....

    Jan 1, 1950

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    Report

    Games With Many Moves

    A summarization of three papers on information in extensive games as they apply to simplifying the solution of multimove games.

    Oct 17, 1949

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    Games with Continuous, Convex Payoff

    A study of special class of games in which the strategies of one player form a compact and convex region B of finite-dimensional Euclidean space while those of the other form an arbitrary set A.

    Aug 12, 1949

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    Note on the Solution of Convex Games

    A method of selecting a finite subset from an arbitrary set of linear functions for convex regions of arbitrary finite dimension.

    Aug 2, 1949

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    Report

    A Three-Move Game with Imperfect Communication

    A supplement to previous game-theory papers. In this game, the y-player makes the first move; the x-player, the second and third moves.

    Apr 15, 1949

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    Note on Duels with Continuous Firing

    A proof that mixed strategies need not be considered in certain duel situations, provided there may be a continuously variable rate of fire.

    Mar 11, 1949

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    Solutions of Discrete, Two-Person Games

    A study of the fundamental relationship between the dimensions of optimal strategy sets.

    Jan 14, 1949

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    Application of Theory of Games to Identification of Friend and Foe

    An identification of friend and foe by game-theory analysis for a player who must choose the best strategy from two courses of action.

    Jan 1, 1949

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    Reconnaissance in Game Theory

    The present report is restricted to the case where one player uses a fixed type of reconnaissance, and where the second player attempts neither reconnaissance on his own nor counter measure. The influence of the reconnaissance on the strategies of th...

    Jan 1, 1949

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    Total Reconnaissance with Total Countermeasures: Simplified Model

    A game-theory model which determines the effect of total reconnaissance and total countermeasures on the payoff and desirable strategies. Only a finite set of pure strategies is available to each player.

    Jan 1, 1949

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    Report

    Mathematical Theory of Zero-Sum Two-Person Games with a Finite Number or a Continuum of Strategies

    This 1948 report presents a summary of zero-sum two-person games with a finite number of strategies as developed by von Neumann.

    Sep 3, 1948

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    Two Theorems Concerning Solutions for Games with Continua of Strategies

    A demonstration of some properties of the solution (strategic saddle-points) of an arbitrary continuous game. Definition of terms or standard notations for games with continua of strategies are given.

    Mar 4, 1948

  • People

    People

    Elizabeth Bodine-Baron

    Senior Information Scientist; Associate Director, Force Modernization and Employment Program, RAND Project Air Force
    Education Ph.D., M.S. in electrical engineering, California Institute of Technology; B.S. in electrical engineering, University of Texas at Austin; B.A. in liberal arts, University of Texas at Austin

  • People

    People

    Fay Dunkerley

    Senior Analyst
    Education Ph.D. in transport economics, KU Leuven, Belgium; Ph.D. in wind flow over complex terrain, UMIST, UK; M.Sc. in economics, KU Leuven, Belgium; Certificate of Advanced Study in mathematics, University of Cambridge; B.A. in mathematics, University of Cambridge

  • People

    People

    Marissa Herron

    Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND; Ph.D. Student, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education M.S. in remote sensing intelligence, Naval Postgraduate School; M.S. in aerospace engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder; B.S. in aerospace engineering, University of Arizona

  • People

    People

    Andrew Karode

    Associate Director, Research Software Engineering; Senior Research Software Engineer
    Education M.S. in computer science, Wake Forest University; B.A. in computer science, Wake Forest University; B.A. in political science, Wake Forest University

  • People

    People

    Weilong Kong

    Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education M.P.A., University of Southern California; B.Ec. in finance, Renmin University of China

  • People

    People

    Jennifer Lamping Lewis

    Senior Economist
    Education Ph.D. in economics, Columbia University; M.Phil. in economics, Columbia University; M.A. in economics, Columbia University; A.B. cum laude in economics, Princeton University