Applied Game Theory? Computational Techniques to Operationalize Complex Games




Perry, Michael Macgregor

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Game theory, the mathematical study of strategic interaction, is often criticized as lacking practical application. Such criticism has even come from its most prominent theorists. This dissertation takes the position that these critiques are largely a result of the complexities inherent in game-theoretic analysis, which in turn have relegated most of the literature to the study of over-simplified models, models that are too small in scale for practical application, or both. In light of this, cutting-edge techniques drawn from the operations research literature such as efficient sample allocation, response surface methodologies, robust analysis, and nonconvex binary optimization will be integrated into realistic game theory models. These and other modeling techniques have been slow to integrate into the game theory literature, likely due to the unique challenges games pose as multi-agent optimization problems, and this dissertation thus represents a step forward in operationalizing complex games. Realistic examples will be drawn from maritime law enforcement and it will be seen that the models presented here have the ability to both explain observed phenomena and contribute to policy development.



Operations research, Economics, Adversarial risk analysis, Game theory, Global optimization, Maritime law enforcement, Response surface methodology, Statistical selection