Good books on game theory?


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Good books on game theory?

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Jan 28, 2010, 5:40 am

Can anyone recommend a good introductory book on game theory? A Primer in Game Theory looks reasonable, but it's very expensive (even second-hand) and I'd like to know it was the right choice before investing in it.

My interest in game theory is entirely casual, though I have a degree in mathematics and I'm certainly not afraid of equations.

Jan 28, 2010, 6:11 am

There's "The Compleat Strategyst: Being a Primer on the Theory of Games of Strategy" by J.D. Williams - it's pretty old though and I've not been following the field.

Jan 28, 2010, 6:31 am

I like A course in game theory by Martin J. Osborne even if it is a bit too academic (but I have a background in Maths so...) - the answers are not in the book but are available from enough places - just a warning :). Not the newest in the field but it is stable. So is Game Theory: Analysis of Conflict by Roger B. Myerson

And if you want a less technical thing Game Theory: A Nontechnical Introduction by Morton D. Davis kinda works also.

And there is always Strategies and Games: Theory and Practice by Prajit K. Dutta which was the most useful one when I had to study for an exam - the style of the author just clicked with me - kinda not so technical but at the same time with enough Maths to get it all together.

Gibbons had always been considered one of the good introductory texts but something never worked properly for me there.

Editado: Jan 28, 2010, 6:59 am

fishpi, I am not an expert in Applied Mathematics, but I am very keen on " combinations and permutations" for
casino games, card games and other forms of gambling games ( 6 out of 49 numbers (lotto) ) I am not a gambling addict , but just very interested in the "mechanics" of winning chances. Is "game theory" related to these
forms of "games" that can make a person lose "hard-earned" monies.

Click to

Type " Game Theory" as a "title of books on this subject.

The book mentioned at Msg (2) above costs about US Dlrs 30.00 at Amazon excluding carriage cost.

You can find an exhaustive list of books on "games
theory" and maybe they can advise you .

Jan 28, 2010, 6:39 am

By the way - someone recommended me Algorithmic Game Theory by Noam Nisan recently. Haven't had a chance to really look at it but from the few things that I saw, it looked solid. Planning on getting it and working through it some time this year. But it is not an introductory text - a bit more complex from what I saw.

Good thing that you posted the topic so I can remember to look at this again :)

>4 skoobdo:
Or search google or amazon - you will get the same results more or less... :)

Jan 28, 2010, 9:20 am

Thanks for all the suggestions! I'll make sure to review whatever I do end up reading.

Jan 28, 2010, 9:51 am

Good luck :)

Why this sudden interest in Game Theory? Economics related or something else?

Jan 28, 2010, 10:05 am

Who says it's sudden? :-)

I've always been interested in the borderlands between mathematics and economics - but as I say, my degree was maths and I've done no formal study of economics. I've picked up the very basics of game theory here and there, but I'm always dissatisfied by not having enough of an understanding of the underlying theory.

I got interested in it most recently in thinking about the economics of software development (being something I do for a living). It's starting to become clear that some of the big problems in software (e.g. security) are as much economic as they are technical: we can produce secure software, but the market doesn't allow people to profit by doing so (e.g. due to information asymmetry). I got to wondering whether game theory had anything to say about certain strategic decisions made in releasing software to the market.

But really, I'm thinking learning game theory will be far too abstract to help with any of these real-world issues. Even so, I like to learn theory every so often to stop my brain from atrophying.

Jan 28, 2010, 10:35 am

:) Fair enough.

Guess we are in the same situation in a way - I have Maths and Programming background, never got any formal instruction in Economics. But the Game Theory was part of the standard Informatics classes.

Jan 28, 2010, 12:38 pm

I took game theory through the math department, but counted it toward my economics degree. :) We used the free online textbook:
Game Theory by Thomas S. Ferguson
We worked through a lot of it in class, so I can't speak to how well it holds up by itself.

Out 6, 2010, 3:10 pm

Cross posting same topic from the Economics group.

Jun 17, 2011, 9:57 am

Strategies and Games: Theory and Practice by Prajit Dutta.