Introduction to Game Theory

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.

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

Back­ward Rea­son­ing Over De­ci­sion Trees

Nash Equil­ibria and Schel­ling Points

In­tro­duc­tion to Pri­son­ers’ Dilemma

Real World Solu­tions to Pri­son­ers’ Dilemmas

In­ter­lude for Be­hav­ioral Economics

What Is Sig­nal­ing, Really?

Bar­gain­ing and Auctions

Im­perfect Vot­ing Systems

Game The­ory As A Dark Art