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Oyun: A New, Free Program for Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma Tournaments in the Classroom

Pence, Charles H. and Buchak, Lara (2012) Oyun: A New, Free Program for Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma Tournaments in the Classroom. [Preprint]

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    Evolutionary applications of game theory present one of the most pedagogically accessible varieties of genuine, contemporary theoretical biology. We present here Oyun (OY-oon,, a program designed to run iterated prisoner’s dilemma tournaments, competitions between prisoner’s dilemma strategies developed by the students themselves. Using this software, students are able to readily design and tweak their own strategies, and to see how they fare both in round-robin tournaments and in “evolutionary” tournaments, where the scores in a given “generation” directly determine contribution to the population in the next generation. Oyun is freely available, runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, and the process of creating new prisoner’s dilemma strategies is both easy to teach and easy for students to grasp. We illustrate with two interesting examples taken from actual use of Oyun in the classroom.

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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: game theory, prisoner’s dilemma, altruism, natural selection
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
    General Issues > Decision Theory
    General Issues > Science Education
    Depositing User: Charles H. Pence
    Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2012 19:31
    Last Modified: 14 Jan 2013 09:39
    Item ID: 9248

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