- Published on 15 June 2011
Game theory has changed our way of thinking about socio-economic interaction, shedding light on the consequences of leaving individuals take their choices for the sake of their self-interest. As exemplified by the prisoner's dilemma, the prediction of this approach can be quite far from what welfare optimization would predict. Still, most of the intuition of game theory has been limited to either simple games or to games with few players, that, in many cases, fall short of capturing the complexity of the ``games'' which are played in our societies. Typically, individuals are different and their incentives are different, and they are not only involved in playing games with their neighbors, but their choices have also to take into account the global games they are involved in. Ramezanpour, Realpe-Gomez and Zecchina show how the statistical mechanics approach can be extended to cope with the complexity of these games. This not only shows how to characterize the set of possible (Nash) equilibria of the society, but also helps finding those equilibria, which are typically hard to compute, which have optimal welfare properties.
To read the full paper "Statistical physics approach to graphical games: local and global interactions" A. Ramezanpour, J. Realpe-Gomez and R. Zecchina, Eur. Phys. J. B 81, 327-339 (2011) DOI: 10.1140/epjb/e2011-10963-x click here.