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Thursday, October 22, 2009
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


Schelling Formalized: Strategic Choices of Non-Rational Personas

David H. Wolpert
NASA Ames Research Center

We introduce a framework that explains non-rationality in non-repeated games. In our framework a player $i$ adopts a binding "persona" --- a temporary utility function --- that they honestly signal before play. By adopting a "non-rational" persona, $i$ may cause changes in their opponents' behavior that increases $i$'s true utility. We use this framework to explain experimental data in the Traveler's Dilemma and to show how cooperation can arise in the Prisoner's Dilemma (PD). We then predict a crowding out phenomenon in the PD. We also predict a tradeoff between the robustness and the benefit of cooperation in the PD.

Host: Misha Chertkov