☛ Example – Prisoner’s Dilemma 1
One of the interpretations:
It is 1930’s. In the Soviet Union at that time a conductor travels by train to Moscow, to the symphony orchestra concert.
He studies the score and concentrates on the demanding
performance. Two KGB agents are watching him, who – in
their ignorance – think that the score is a secret code. All
conductor’s efforts to explain that it is yet Tchajkovskij are
absolutely hopeless. He is arrested and imprisoned. The second day our couple of agents visit him with the words: ”You
have better speak. We have found your comrade Tchajkovskij and he is already speaking . . . ”
Two innocent people, one because he studied a score and
the second because his name was coincidentally Tchajkovskij, find themselves in prison, faced the following problem:
if both of them bravely keep denying, despite physical and
psychical torture, they will be sent to Gulag for three years,
then they will be released. If one of them confesses the fictive
espionage crime of them both, and the second one keeps denying, then the first one will get only one year in Gulag, while
the second one 25. If both of them confess, they will be sent
to Gulag for 10 years.
The situation can be described by the bimatrix:
(−3, −3)
(−25, −1)
(−1, −25)
(−10, −10)
Dilemma – commonly it would be the most convenient for
both to keep denying and go to Gulag for three years.
The problem: they have no chance to make a deal – and even
if they had a chance to make a deal, there is a danger of comrade’s confessing – whatever under a press or a temptation
to take advantage of a shorter sentence. And even if both of
them were solidary, each of them can think about the other
that he falls prey to the temptation or a torture and confesses
– hence he is in the danger of 25 year sentence which is
even much worse than 10 years. Both therefore choose the
second strategy and confess.
The strategy ”confess” dominates the strategy ”deny”
the pair
(confess, confess)
is the only equilibrium point in the game
☛ Example – Prisoner’s Dilemma 2
More generally, prisoner’s dilemma is a name for every situation of the type:
Player 2
(reward, reward)
(sucker, temptation)
Player 1
(temptation, sucker )
(punish., punish.)
< punishment < reward < temptation.
Cooperation can express whatever – the strategy pair
(cooperate, cooperate) corresponds to mutually solidary action
Examples of Occurence of Prisoner’s Dilemma
• Building the Sewage Water Treatment Plant
(two big hotels by one mountain lake):
– Cooperate = build the purify facility
– Defect = do not build it
– Reward = pure water attracts tourists – customers,
profits increase, nevertheless, we had to invest a certain sum of money
– Temptation = take advantage of the purify facility of
the second hotel and save on the investment
– Punishment = polluted water discourages tourists,
the profit decreases to zero
• Duopolists:
– Cooperate = collude on the optimal total production
(corresponding to monopoly)
– Defect = break the deal
– Reward = the highest total profit
– Temptation = produce somewhat more at the expense of the second duopolist
– Punishment = less profit for both
• Removing the Parasites:
– Cooperate = mutual removing of parasites
– Defect = have removing done by the comrade but do
not return the favor
– Reward = free of par., paying by removing other’s
– Temptation = free of par. without paying it back
– Punishment = all are full of parasites which is much
worse than a slight effort to remove the other’s par.
• Public Transportation:
– Cooperate = pay the fare
– Defect = do not pay
– Reward = public transportation runs, I can use it, nevertheless I have to pay a certain sum every month.
– Temptation = use the public transportation, don’t pay
– Punishment = (almost) nobody pays, the public transportation is dissolved, I have to pay a taxi which is
much more expensive than the original fare payment
• Television Licence Fee:
– Cooperate = pay
– Defect = do not pay
– Reward = public service broadcast works, I can watch
it, but I have to pay some small sum of money
– Temptation = do not pay and watch
– Punishment = (almost) nobody pays, the broadcast
is dissolved
• Battle:
– Cooperate = fight
– Defect = hide
– Reward = victory but also a risk of injury
– Temptation = victory without a risk of injury
– Punishment = the enemy wins without any fighting
• Nuclear Armament:
– Cooperate = disarm
– Defect = arm
– Reward = the world without nuclear threat
– Temptation = to be the only one armed
– Punishment = all arm, pay much money for it,
moreover a danger threats
Repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma
In the case of infinite or indeterminate time horizon, cooperate is not necessarily irrational:
☛ Example – Prisoner’s Dilemma 3
Consider the following variant of Prisoner’s dilemma:
Player 2
(3, 3)
(0, 5)
(5, 0)
(1, 1)
Player 1
Imagine that the game will be repeated with the probability
of 2/3 in each round that the next round occurs, too.
When both players cooperate, the expected payoff for each:
πC = 3 + 3 · 23 + 3 · ( 32 )2 + 3 · ( 23 )3 + · · · + 3 · ( 23 )n + · · ·
Strategy in repeated game = a complete plan how the
player will act in the whole course of the game in all possible
situations in which he can find himself.
For example: Grudger strategy: Cooperates until the second has defected, after that move defects forever.
When two Grudgers meet in a game, they cooperate all the
time and each of them receives the value πG = πC .
It can easily be proven that the pair of strategies
(Grudger, Grudger )
is an equilibrium point of the game in question.
Consider a Deviant who deviates from the Grudger strategy played with
Grudger. In some round this Deviant defects, although the Grudger has
cooperated (this can also happen in the first round). Let this deviation
occurs first in the round n + 1. Since the Deviant plays with the Grudger,
in the next round the opponent chooses his strategy defect and holds on
it forever. The Deviant can not therefore obtain more than
πD = 3 + 3 · 32 + · · · + 3 · ( 32 )n−1 + 5 · ( 23 )n + 1 · ( 32 )n+1 + · · ·
πG − πD =
= (3 − 5) · ( 23 )n + (3 − 1) · ( 32 )n+1 + · · · + (3 − 1) · ( 23 )n+k + · · ·
= −2 · ( 23 )n + 2 · ( 32 )n+1 + · · · + 2 · ( 32 )n+k + · · ·
= ( 32 )n −2 + 2 · 23 ·
1 − 23
= ( 23 )n · 2 > 0 ,
it does not pay to deviate.
Similarly, we can consider the strategy Tit for Tat, which
begins with cooperation and then plays what its opponent
played in the last move. The pair
(Tit for Tat, Tit for Tat)
is an equilibrium point, too.
Examples of Strategies in Repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma
Always Cooperates
Always Defects
Grudger, Spiteful: Cooperates until the second has defected, after that move defects forever (he does not
Tit for Tat: begins with cooperation and then plays what
its opponent played in the last move (if the opponent defects in some round, Tit for Tat will defect in the following
one; to cooperation it responds with cooperation).
Mistrust Tit for Tat: In the first round it defects, than it
plays opponent’s move.
Naive Prober: Like Tit for Tat, but sometimes, after the
opponent has cooperated, it defects (e.g. at random, in
one of ten rounds in average).
Remorseful Prober: Like Naive Prober, but he makes an
effort to end cycles C–D caused by his own doublecross: after opponent’s defection that was a reaction to
his unfair defection, he cooperates for one time.
Hard Tit for Tat: Cooperates unless the opponent has defected at least once in the last two rounds.
Gradual Tit for Tat: Cooperates until the opponent has defected. Then, after the first opponent’s defection it defects once and twice it cooperates, after the second
defection it defects in two subsequent rounds and twice
it cooperates, . . . , after the n-th opponent’s defection it
defects in n subsequent rounds and twice it cooperates,
Gradual Killer: In the first five rounds it defects, than it cooperates in two rounds. If the opponent has defected in
rounds 6 and 7, than the Gradual Killer keeps defecting
forever, otherwise he keeps cooperation forever.
Hard Tit for 2 Tats: Cooperates except the case when the
opponent has defected at least in two subsequent rounds
in the last three rounds.
Soft Tit for 2 Tats: Cooperates except the case when the
opponent has defected in the last two subsequent rounds.
Slow Tit for Tat: Plays C–C, then if opponent plays two
consecutive times the same move, plays its move.
Periodically DDC: Plays periodically: Defect–Defect–Coop.
Periodically SSZ: Plays periodically: Coop.–Coop.–Defect
Soft Majority: Cooperates, than plays opponent’s majority
move, if equal then cooperates.
Hard Majority: Cooperates, than plays opponent’s majority move, if equal then defects.
Pavlov: Cooperates if and only if both players opted for the
same choice in the previous move, otherwise it defects.
Pavlov Pn: Adjusts the probability of cooperation in units
of 1/n according to the previous round: when it cooperated with the probability p in the last round, the
probability of cooperation in the next round is
p ⊕ n1 = min(p + n1 , 1) if it obtained R = reward ;
p⊖ n1 = max(0, p− n1 ) if it obtained P = punishment ;
p ⊕ n2 if it obtained T = temptation ;
p ⊖ n2 if it obtained S = sucker .
Random: Cooperates with the probability 0.5.
Hard Joss: Plays like Tit for Tat, but it cooperates only with
the probability 0.9.
Soft Joss: Plays like Tit for Tat, but it defects only with the
probability 0.9.
Generous Tit for Tat: Plays like Tit for Tat, but it after the
defection it cooperates with the probability
T −R R−P
g(R, P, T, S) = min 1 −
R−S T −P
Better and Better In n-th round it defects with the probability (1000 − n)/1000, i.e. the probability of defection
is lesser and lesser.
Worse and Worse: In n-th round it defects with the probability n/1000, i.e. the probability of defection is greater
and greater.
Occurrences of Repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma
(further examples)
• Front Linie – Live and Let Live:
– Cooperate = live and let live
– Defect = kill every man from the opposite side when
the opportunity knocks
– Reward = survival of long war years
– Temptation = take advantage of the situation that the
opponent is an easy chased and earn for example
a medal – it is afterall better to remove the enemy
– Punishment = all are upon the guard all the time . . .
• Fig Tree and Chalcidflies:
– Cooperate = balanced ratio of pollinated flowers and
flowers with layed eggs inside the fig
– Defect = lay eggs to a greater number of flowers
– Reward = genes spread
– Temptation = lay eggs to a greater number of flowers
and hence to encrease the number of offspring
– Punishment = the fig hosting the treacherous
Chalcidfly family is thrown down and the whole family dies out
• Mutual Help of Males of Baboon Anubi:
– Cooperate = help the other male drive an enemy
away during his mating
– Defect = do not pay the help back
– Reward = successful mating, offspring
– Temptation = take advantage of help but do not pay
it back and save the time and effort
– Punishment = less offspring
Baboon Anubi
In the nature: the more often a male A supports a male
B, the more the male B supports A.
• Sexual Roles Alternating by Hermaphrodite
– Cooperate = if I am a male now, I will became a
female the next time
– Defect = became a male again after acting a male
– Reward = living together in harmony, many offspring
– Temptation = repeat an easy male role
– Punishment = the relation breaks down
Red grouper (Epinephelus morio)
• Desmodus Rotundus Vampire (a bat sucking mammal blood) – feeding hungry individuals:
– Cooperate = after a successful hunt, feed unsuccessful ”colleagues”
– Defect = keep all blood
– Reward = long-run successful survival
– Temptation = in the case of need, let the colleagues
to feed me, do not share the catch with the others
– Punishment = in the case of unsuccessful hunt, starving out
In the nature: the individuals that have returned from
a unsuccessful hunt are feeded by successful ones,
even non-relatives; they recognize each other.
Desmodus Rotundus Vampires
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