Symmetric game

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In game theory, a symmetric game is a game where the payoffs for playing a particular strategy depend only on the other strategies employed, not on who is playing them. If one can change the identities of the players without changing the payoff to the strategies, then a game is symmetric. Symmetry can come in different varieties. Ordinally symmetric games are games that are symmetric with respect to the ordinal structure of the payoffs. A game is quantitatively symmetric if and only if it is symmetric with respect to the exact payoffs. A partnership game is a symmetric game where both players receive identical payoffs for any strategy set. That is, the payoff for playing strategy a against strategy b receives the same payoff as playing strategy b against strategy a.

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Symmetry in 2x2 games

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Ea, ab, c
Fc, bd, d

Only 12 out of the 144 ordinally distinct 2x2 games are symmetric. However, many of the commonly studied 2x2 games are at least ordinally symmetric. The standard representations of chicken, the Prisoner's Dilemma, and the Stag hunt are all symmetric games. Formally, in order for a 2x2 game to be symmetric, its payoff matrix must conform to the schema pictured to the right.

The requirements for a game to be ordinally symmetric are weaker, there it need only be the case that the ordinal ranking of the payoffs conform to the schema on the right.

Symmetry and equilibria

Nash (1951) shows that every finite symmetric game has a symmetric mixed strategy Nash equilibrium. Cheng et al. (2004) show that every two-strategy symmetric game has a (not necessarily symmetric) pure strategy Nash equilibrium.

Uncorrelated asymmetries: payoff neutral asymmetries

Symmetries here refer to symmetries in payoffs. Biologists often refer to asymmetries in payoffs between players in a game as correlated asymmetries. These are in contrast to uncorrelated asymmetries which are purely informational and have no effect on payoffs (e.g. see Hawk-dove game).

The general case

A game with a payoff of for player , where is player 's strategy set and , is considered symmetric if for any permutation ,

[1]

Partha Dasgupta and Eric Maskin give the following definition, which has been repeated since in the economics literature

However, this is a stronger condition that implies the game is not only symmetric in the sense above, but is a common-interest game, in the sense that all players' payoffs are identical. [1]

Related Research Articles

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Game theory is the branch of mathematics in which games are studied: that is, models describing human behaviour. This is a glossary of some terms of the subject.

Solution concept formal rule for predicting how a strategic game will be played

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In game theory, a Bayesian game is a game in which players have incomplete information about the other players. For example, a player may not know the exact payoff functions of the other players, but instead have beliefs about these payoff functions. These beliefs are represented by a probability distribution over the possible payoff functions.

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In game theory, folk theorems are a class of theorems about possible Nash equilibrium payoff profiles in repeated games. The original Folk Theorem concerned the payoffs of all the Nash equilibria of an infinitely repeated game. This result was called the Folk Theorem because it was widely known among game theorists in the 1950s, even though no one had published it. Friedman's (1971) Theorem concerns the payoffs of certain subgame-perfect Nash equilibria (SPE) of an infinitely repeated game, and so strengthens the original Folk Theorem by using a stronger equilibrium concept subgame-perfect Nash equilibria rather than Nash equilibrium.

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Game without a value

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In mathematics, and in particular the study of game theory, a function is graph continuous if it exhibits the following properties. The concept was originally defined by Partha Dasgupta and Eric Maskin in 1986 and is a version of continuity that finds application in the study of continuous games.

In algorithmic game theory, a succinct game or a succinctly representable game is a game which may be represented in a size much smaller than its normal form representation. Without placing constraints on player utilities, describing a game of players, each facing strategies, requires listing utility values. Even trivial algorithms are capable of finding a Nash equilibrium in a time polynomial in the length of such a large input. A succinct game is of polynomial type if in a game represented by a string of length n the number of players, as well as the number of strategies of each player, is bounded by a polynomial in n.

In game theory, an aggregative game is a game in which every player’s payoff is a function of the player’s own strategy and the aggregate of all players’ strategies. The concept was first proposed by Nobel laureate Reinhard Selten in 1970 who considered the case where the aggregate is the sum of the players' strategies.

M equilibrium is a set valued solution concept in game theory that relaxes the rational choice assumptions of perfect maximization and perfect beliefs. The concept can be applied to any normal-form game with finite and discrete strategies. M equilibrium was first introduced by Jacob K. Goeree and Philippos Louis.

References

Further reading

  1. 1 2 Ham, Nicholas (18 Nov 2013). "Notions of Symmetry for Finite Strategic-Form Games". arXiv: 1311.4766 [math.CO].