Game theory


Game theory emerged in the first half of the 20th century from the der mathematical analysis of board games such as chess, draughts etc. Today game theory transcends these applications by far, and investigates general decision situations in which several decision-makers take part. With the models that it offers, a wide variety of game situations can be simulated, in which the participants follow various goals and strategies and influence one another's decisions. Furthermore, a fundamental distinction is made between cooperative and non-cooperative game situations. By its nature, game theory is closely related to decision theory.

The mathematician John von Neumann was the first to propound a formal game theory of games, and together with the economist Oskar Morgenstern he applied this to questions of economy. Today, economics continues to constitute the most important field of application of game theory; however, game-theoretical models have also been applied successfully to the explanation of complex decision-making problems in biology, sociology, political science, psychology and jurisprudence.


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