In­tro­duc­tion to Game The­ory: Sequence Guide

This se­quence of posts is a primer on game the­ory in­ten­ded at an in­tro­duct­ory level. Be­cause it is in­tro­duct­ory, Less Wrong vet­er­ans may find some parts bor­ing, ob­vi­ous, or simplistic—al­though hope­fully noth­ing is so simplistic as to be out­right wrong.

Parts of this se­quence draw heav­ily upon ma­ter­ial from The Art of Strategy by Av­inash Dixit and Barry Nale­buff, and it may in part be con­sidered a (very fa­vor­able) re­view of the book ac­com­pan­ied by an ex­plor­a­tion of its con­tent. I have tried to in­clude enough ma­ter­ial to be use­ful, but not so much ma­ter­ial that it be­comes a pla­gi­ar­ism rather than a re­view (it’s prob­ably a bad idea to pick a legal fight with people who write books called The Art of Strategy.) There­fore, for the most com­plete and en­ga­ging present­a­tion of this ma­ter­ial, I highly re­com­mend the ori­ginal book.

All posts will be linked from here as they go up:

1. In­tro­duc­tion to Game The­ory: Sequence Guide
2. Back­ward Reason­ing Over De­cision Trees
3. Nash Equi­lib­ria and Schelling Points
4. In­tro­duc­tion to Pris­on­ers’ Di­lemma
5. Real World Solu­tions to Pris­on­ers’ Di­lem­mas
6. In­ter­lude for Be­ha­vi­oral Eco­nom­ics
7. What Is Sig­nal­ing, Really?
8. Bar­gain­ing and Auc­tions
9. Im­per­fect Vot­ing Sys­tems
10. Game The­ory As A Dark Art

Spe­cial thanks to Luke for his book re­com­mend­a­tion and his strong en­cour­age­ment to write this.