Agents, Games, and Evolution: Strategies at Work and Play (Hardback) book cover

Agents, Games, and Evolution

Strategies at Work and Play

By Steven Orla Kimbrough

© 2011 – Chapman and Hall/CRC

512 pages | 138 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781439834701
pub: 2011-12-19
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pub: 2011-12-19
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Games, or contexts of strategic interaction, pervade and suffuse our lives and the lives of all organisms. How are we to make sense of and cope with such situations? How should an agent play? When will and when won’t cooperation arise and be maintained? Using examples and a careful digestion of the literature, Agents, Games, and Evolution: Strategies at Work and Play addresses these encompassing themes throughout, and is organized into four parts:

Part I introduces classical game theory and strategy selection. It compares ideally rational and the "naturalist" approach used by this book, which focuses on how actual agents chose their strategies, and the effects of these strategies on model systems.

Part II explores a number of basic games, using models in which agents have fixed strategies. This section draws heavily on the substantial literature associated with the relevant application areas in the social sciences.

Part III reviews core results and applications of agent-based models in which strategic interaction is present and for which design issues have genuine practical import. This section draws heavily on the substantial literature associated with the application area to hand.

Part IV addresses miscellaneous topics in strategic interaction, including lying in negotiations, reasoning by backward induction, and evolutionary models.

Modeled after the authors’ Agents, Games, and Evolution course at the University of Pennsylvania, this book keeps mathematics to a minimum, focusing on computational strategies and useful methods for dealing with a variety of situations.

Table of Contents


Contexts of Strategic Interaction

Games in the Wild and the Problems of Play

Mixed Motives

Playing Prisoner's Dilemma

Fanning Out: 2x2 Games and Models

Stag Hunt

Pareto versus Nash

Affording Cooperation

Markets and Applications

Competitive Markets

Monopoly Stories

Oligopoly: Cournot Competition

Oligopoly: Bertrand Competition

Supply Curve Bidding

Two-Sided Matching

IDS Games

Organizational Ambidexterity


Topics in Strategic Analysis

Lying and Related Abuses

Evolutionary Models

Backward Induction

Summing Up


Game Concepts

Useful Mathematical Results

Further Arguments on the Surprise Exam

Resources on the Web



About the Author

Steven Orla Kimbrough, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Operations Research
MATHEMATICS / Combinatorics