Learning and Teaching as a Game: A Sabotage Approach

  • Nina Gierasimczuk
  • Lena Kurzen
  • Fernando R. Velázquez-Quesada
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5834)


In formal approaches to inductive learning, the ability to learn is understood as the ability to single out a correct hypothesis from a range of possibilities. Although most of the existing research focuses on the characteristics of the learner, in many paradigms the significance of the teacher’s abilities and strategies is in fact undeniable. Motivated by this observation, this paper highlights the interactive nature of learning by showing its relation with games. We show how learning can be seen as a sabotage-type game between Teacher and Learner, and we present different variants based on the level of cooperativeness and the actions available to the players, characterizing the existence of winning strategies by formulas of Sabotage Modal Logic and analyzing their complexity. We also give a two-way conceptual account of how to further combine games and learning: we propose to use game theory to analyze the grammar inference approach, and moreover, we indicate that existing inductive inference games can be analyzed using learning theory tools. Our work aims at unifying game-theoretical and logical approach to formal learning theory.


Formal learning theory game theory modal logic sabotage games inductive inference games learning algorithms 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nina Gierasimczuk
    • 1
  • Lena Kurzen
    • 1
  • Fernando R. Velázquez-Quesada
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Logic, Language and ComputationUniversiteit van AmsterdamAmsterdamthe Netherlands

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