The centerpiece of this week's research is Axelrod's The Evolution of Cooperation. This wonderful book describes how complexity theory (and, specifically, genetic algorithms) can be applied to game theory.

Questions and tasks

  1. Read the Introduction and Chapters 1-3 of The Evolution of Cooperation.
  2. Think about the following questions:
    • People read this book and then say "Tit for tat is the best strategy." React. (Think "Best? By what measure? What other measure might have been used? Does the opponent matter? What if it were a different set or mix of opponents?" That should get you started.)
    • When he says that his tournament simulated an ecological, not an evolutionary, process, what does he mean?
  3. Specifics of the assignment for next class:
    • Everyone needs to read and be ready to discuss the first three chapters of the book.
    • Choose one of the remaining chapters and prepare to lead a 10 minute discussion of the chapter. Assume that no one has read your chapter. Be sure to highlight insights or provocative points related to or derived from the chapter.
  4. After reading the book chapters, read "Twenty Years On: The Evolution of Cooperation Revisited".
  5. We'll also talk about your on-going investigations related to simulations.

Chapter Selection for Discussions

  1. Chapter 4 : Mins
  2. Chapter 5:
  3. Chapter 6: Suresh
  4. Chapter 7: Suresh
  5. Chapter 8: Andrea
  6. Chapter 9
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