Game Theory and Python

Game Theory is the study of strategic interactions between several players in a "game". It has grown into a complex and multi-branched subject over the years due to the applications it offers to real world problems. This workshop will cover an introduction to the field of Game Theory and more specifically to the discipline of iterated games.

A famous iterated game commonly used to understand the evolution of co-operative behaviour is the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma (IPD). In the 1980s, a computer tournament of the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma game spawned to life a new field of research. Scholars from various disciplines were invited to submit strategies in computer code and they would compete in a round robin tournament where the strategy with the highest average score would be the winner.

Strategies are a set of rules used to describe to a player how to play the IPD game. The research of computer tournaments includes studying the interactions of such strategies and the exploration of a strategy that dominates them all. An open source Python library, the Axelrod-Python, was introduced on the field in 2015 for carrying out such research and will be used in this workshop.

I am proposing an introduction to the Axelrod-Python library and to IPD computer tournaments. Moreover, the library allows the user to interact with more than 190 strategies that have been implemented. This will allow participants to explore the strategic rules and possibly inspire the creation of new strategies and the contribution of these to the library.