01 February 2009

Game Theory Week: Intro

So far in these posts ramblings about the mathematics of games my approach has been to consider simpler versions of the game. There is a reason for this; I have been avoiding the difficult problem of player choice. In every post so far choice is either reduced to a near trivial (Scrabble --> Nim), removed entirely from consideration (Monopoly --> random walk), or not present in the first place (Candyland --> Markov chain). By simplifying choice out of these games, my task my task becomes much easier, but I'm also missing out on the best part of most games, which is the interaction between players seeking the winning strategy.

Doctor McCoy Staticician not EconomistThe time has come for that to change. To get at this problem I need a new tool, and that tool is Game Theory. The only problem is, I don't actually know that much about it ("Dammit Jim, I'm a Statistician, not an Economist!"). I do know some things; I have been reading and working to educate myself on this topic, but it is not my expertise and I feel a bit under-confident writing about it. Fortunately for me I don't have to be an expert. As a blogger I can point out some interesting uses of game theory and share the good sources that I am learning from.

dice game theoryOver the next week or so I will have a series of posts on game theory and related topics. My task will be to try to link game theory back to actual game people play. I will be leaning heavily on the work of others, but I hope to contribute some of my own thoughts as well.
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