Water Resources Management

, Volume 25, Issue 8, pp 1949–1977

Non-Cooperative Stability Definitions for Strategic Analysis of Generic Water Resources Conflicts


    • Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction EngineeringUniversity of Central Florida
  • Keith W. Hipel
    • Department of Systems Design EngineeringUniversity of Waterloo

DOI: 10.1007/s11269-011-9783-4

Cite this article as:
Madani, K. & Hipel, K.W. Water Resour Manage (2011) 25: 1949. doi:10.1007/s11269-011-9783-4


In game theory, potential resolutions to a conflict are found through stability analysis, based on stability definitions having precise mathematical structures. A stability definition reflects a decision maker’s behavior in a conflict or game, predicts how the game is played, and suggests the resolutions or equilibria of the dispute. Various stability definitions, reflecting different types of people with different levels of foresight, risk attitude, and knowledge of opponents’ preferences, have been proposed for resolving games. This paper reviews and illustrates six stability definitions, applicable to finite strategy strategic non-cooperative water resources games, including Nash Stability, General Metarationality (GMR), Symmetric Metarationality (SMR), Sequential Stability (SEQ), Limited-Move Stability, and Non-Myopic Stability. The introduced stability definitions are applied to an interesting and highly informative range of generic water resources games to show how analytical results vary based on the applied stability definitions. The paper suggests that game theoretic models can better simulate real conflicts if the applied stability definitions better reflect characteristics of the players. When there is a lack of information about the types of decision makers, the employment of a range of stability definitions might improve the strategic results and provide useful insights into the basic framework of the conflict and its resolution.


Game theoryConflict resolutionStability definitionsSolution conceptsNon-cooperative behaviorStrategic gamePolicyWater resources management

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011