The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Learning and Evolution in Games: Adaptive Heuristics

  • H. Peyton Young
Reference work entry


A ‘heuristic’ is a method or rule for solving problems; in game theory it refers to a method for learning how to play. Such a rule is ‘adaptive’ if it is directed towards higher payoffs and is reasonably simple to implement. This article discusses a variety of such rules and the forms of equilibrium that they implement. It turns out that even sophisticated solution concepts, like subgame perfect equilibrium, can be achieved by relatively simple and intuitive methods.


Adaptive heuristics Commitment Correlated equilibrium Learning Nash equilibrium Probability Regret Repeated games Strategic learning Subgame perfection 

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Peyton Young
    • 1
  1. 1.