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Since 2002
       
Didactic Web-Based Experiments in GAME THEORY

Launched 1.1.02

       
Ariel Rubinstein

School of Economics
,
Tel Aviv University
,

and

Department of Economics
New York University
The Getty, Los Angeles
Copyright ©
Ariel Rubinstein
and Eli Zvuluny.




This site was constructed by:

Eli Zvuluny
Possible Worlds Ltd.

Click for a Demo (A Flash viewer is needed only for viewing the demo)

The site's Main Aim is to provide the teacher of a basic course in Game Theory with free user-friendly didactic tools for conducting web-based thought experiments. 
After having registered, a teacher, will be able to allocate problems to the students and get basic statistics on their responses.
The student can select the language of the problems from among eight languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Russian, Slovak. Finnish and Chinese
We welcome comments (brief ones if possible) and especially suggestions for new experiments: rariel@post.tau.ac.il .
The idea of the site is based on my experience in teaching a course in GT using web-based experiments during the years 1988 to 1999.  See;
Rubinstein, Ariel, "Experience from a Course in Game Theory:  Pre and Post-class Problem Sets as a Didactic Device",  Games and Economic Behavior 28 (1999), 155-170  Click here for the reference  (Second and Extended edition is available on line )
This site is based on the perception of game theory as the study of a set of considerations used by individuals in strategic situations.  Models are not seen as depictions of how individuals actually play game-like situations and are not meant to be used as the basis for a recommendation on how to play real "games".  My goal as a teacher is to deliver a loud and clear message that game theoretic models are not meant to supply predictions of strategic behavior in real life.

It is suggested that students be asked to complete two types of assignments: "post-class" problems, which are standard exercises found in any game theory text. Such problems should induce students to model verbal situations as games and investigate game theoretic solution concepts studied in class. And, "pre-class" problems, which are game theoretic problems of the type "imagine that you are participating in a game where... What will you play?" 

This site is designed to make it easy for a teacher to manage the assignment of pre-class problems.  A teacher can assemble problems from the bank available on this site.   The responses will be collected by the site and will be available only to the teacher. This allows a teacher to begin a lecture in possession of statistics regarding his class' results. The choice of problems was intended to show that while some of the results may fit the conventional analysis, others do not.  This is in line with the idea that Game Theory is simply a collection of considerations which may or may not be used in real life.

Note that the assignment of pre-class problem sets can help students concentrate on examples discussed later in class. It is not a trivial task for students to absorb several games in one class and this method facilitates their understanding of the material.

The site provides a cheap and convenient tool for experimentation. I am fully aware of the potential for criticism of this method since no monetary rewards are offered. However, comparisons of the results received in class with those received in more standard frameworks show, in my opinion (and I know this may be controversial), insignificant differences.

A clarification of confidentiality issues:
An instructor will have access to a list of the students who have registered for his course and a list of completed problem sets for each student. Students will be asked whether they agree to participate in other experiments and will only be approached if they have done so. Information on the students and their responses will be kept confidential. A confirmed instructor will have also access to statistics on the responses of all students in all courses. We reserve the right to use the students' responses for academic research purposes.
The "philosophy" of this site is promoted in the textbook: Osborne, Martin and Ariel Rubinstein, A Course of Game Theory, MIT 1994.

This book is aimed at the graduate as well as at advanced undergraduates levels.

For the undergraduate level I recommend Martin Osborne, An Introduction to Game Theory, Oxford University Press, 2003.

The logo of the site is taken from the cover of Osborne and Rubinstein (1994) designed by both of us (and I would like to thank Martin for allowing me to use the logo in this site).
Last and not least, the construction of the site was done with much devotion and imagination by Eli Zvuluny.

Site Programming and DesignPossible Worlds Ltd. Possible Worlds Ltd.