International Journal of Game Theory

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 593–611 | Cite as

Bounded rationality, strategy simplification, and equilibrium

  • Hubie ChenEmail author


It is frequently suggested that predictions made by game theory could be improved by considering computational restrictions when modeling agents. Under the supposition that players in a game may desire to balance maximization of payoff with minimization of strategy complexity, Rubinstein and co-authors studied forms of Nash equilibrium where strategies are maximally simplified in that no strategy can be further simplified without sacrificing payoff. Inspired by this line of work, we introduce a notion of equilibrium whereby strategies are also maximally simplified, but with respect to a simplification procedure that is more careful in that a player will not simplify if the simplification incents other players to deviate. We study such equilibria in two-player machine games in which players choose finite automata that succinctly represent strategies for repeated games; in this context, we present techniques for establishing that an outcome is at equilibrium and present results on the structure of equilibria.


Bounded rationality Automata Repeated games Simplification Strategy complexity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departament de Tecnologies de la Informació i les ComunicacionsUniversitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain

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