Game Theory Round-up

Published on Sunday, February 14, 2010 in , , , , , , , ,

Deal Or No DealI've posted several times before on game theory, but I keep finding more and more interesting game theory works on the web.

My favorite game theory resource, Mind Your Decisions, teaches how to find cheap gas using game theory. When you have perfect information about gas rates, it's a simple matter of running the numbers through the right equations. However, the Mind Your Decisions article teaches a surprising way to find a good price without knowing the prices of all the local gas stations!

The gas approach was brought up by William Spaniel, whose excellent lectures on game theory are available on YouTube. Subscribe to JimBobJenkins' channel to get new ones as they become available. With the exception of the Terramorphic Expanse video (see video note), which was purposely posted out of order, the videos should be watched in the order they were posted.

Benjamin Polak's free Yale game theory course, which I mentioned last November, is still a good (and free!) course, as well.

Getting back to the Mind Your Decisions post about gas and cars, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita has used his game theory expertise to develop a car-buying approach that gives the advantage to you, instead of the car dealer. TED fans will recognize Bruce from his analysis of Iran's future.

For something called game theory, we sure haven't talked much about games as most people think of them, have we?

On very popular game is the popular Deal Or No Deal game show. Unlike many game shows, this one boils down to almost pure mathematics, and can be played as such. Game theory is well-suited to analyzing your best moves at any point in the game, as discussed in this chapter of Introduction to Game Theory. In Deal or No Deal: A Statistical Deal, an effective strategy is even developed and explained.

Once you read that strategy, you might wish you could try it out yourself. If your browser still supports Flash, you can play the official NBC online game. If you're on an iPhone or iPod Touch, you can play the free web app version in your browser, or buy the official native app.

As always, I hope you find these links fun, useful, and perhaps even educational.

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