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Evolving densities in continuous strategy games through particle simulations

Abstract

Many cases of strategic interaction between agents involve a continuous set of choices. It is natural to model these problems as continuous space games. Consequently, the population of agents playing the game will be represented with a density function defined over the continuous set of strategy choices. Simulating evolutionary dynamics on continuous strategy spaces is a challenging problem. The classic approach of discretizing the strategy space is ineffective for multidimensional strategy spaces. We present a principled approach to simulation of adaptive dynamics in continuous space games using sequential Monte Carlo methods. Sequential Monte Carlo methods use a set of weighted random samples, also named particles to represent density functions over multidimensional spaces. Sequential Monte Carlo methods provide computationally efficient ways of computing the evolution of probability density functions. We employ resampling and smoothing steps to prevent particle degeneration problem associated with particle estimates. The resulting algorithm can be interpreted as an agent based simulation with elements of natural selection, regression to mean and mutation. We illustrate the performance of the proposed simulation technique using two examples: continuous version of the repeated prisoner dilemma game and evolution of bidding functions in first-price closed-bid auctions.

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Correspondence to Julide Yazar.

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Yazar, J. Evolving densities in continuous strategy games through particle simulations. J Econ Interac Coord 1, 171–187 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11403-006-0014-7

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Keywords

  • Stochastic and dynamic games
  • Evolutionary games
  • Agent based simulations
  • Monte Carlo methods
  • Computational techniques

JEL Classification

  • C73
  • C15
  • C63