An iterated hawk-and-dove game

  • Bengt Carlsson
  • Stefan Johansson
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1441)


A fundamental problem in multi agent systems is conflict resolution. A conflict occurs in general when the agents have to deal with inconsistent goals, such as a demand for shared resources. We investigate some theoretical game approaches as efficient methods to examine a class of conflicts in multi agent systems.

In the first part of the paper, we look at the hawk-and-dove game both from an evolutionary and from an iterated point of view. An iterated hawk-and-dove game is not the same as an infinitely repeated evolutionary game because in an iterated game the agents are supposed to know what happened in the previous moves. In an evolutionary game evolutionary stable strategies will be most successful but not necessarily be a unique solution. An iterated game can be modeled as a mixture of a prisoner's dilemma game and a chicken game. These kinds of games are generally supposed to have successful cooperating strategies.

The second part of the paper discusses situations where a chicken game is a more appropriate model than a prisoner's dilemma game.

The third part of the paper describes our simulation of iterated prisoner's dilemma and iterated chicken games. We study a parameterized class of cooperative games, with these classical games as end cases, and we show that chicken games to a higher extent reward cooperative strategies than defecting strategies.

The main results of our simulation are that a chicken game is more cooperating than a prisoner's dilemma because of the values of the payoff matrix. None of the strategies in our simulation actually analyses its score and acts upon it, which gave us significant linear changes in score between the games when linear changes were made to the payoff matrix. All the top six strategies are nice and have small or moderate differences in scores between chicken game and prisoner's dilemma. The 11 worst strategies, with a lower score than random, either start with defect or, if they start with cooperation, are not nice. All of these strategies are doing significantly worse in the chicken game than in the prisoner's dilemma.


multi agent systems hawk-and-dove game prisoner's dilemma chicken game evolutionary stable strategies 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bengt Carlsson
    • 1
  • Stefan Johansson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and Business AdministrationUniversity of Karlskrona/Ronneby Soft Center RonnebySweden

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