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- 1. 4/11/2015 ISBN CODE: 230001567 | Kaustav.lahiri FORTUNE INSTITUTE OF APPLIED SCIENCES. UNDERSTANDINGDECISION/GAME THEORY FOR BETTERRISK ASSESSMENT.
- 2. 2 | P a g e DECISION THEORY AND RELATED APPLETS. Decision Theory: Comes from the theory of choicein economics, psychology, philosophy, mathematics, computer science, and statistics is concerned with identifying the values, uncertainties and other issues relevant in a given decision, its rationality, and the resulting optimal decision. It is closely related to the field of game theory; decision theory is concerned with the choices of individual agents whereas game theory is concerned with interactions of agents whose decisions affect each other. Normative and Descriptive Decision Theory: Normative or prescriptive decision theory is concerned with identifying the best decision to take (in practice, there are situations in which "best" is not necessarily the maximal, optimum may also include values in addition to maximum, but within a specific or approximate range), assuming an ideal decision maker who is fully informed, able to compute with perfect accuracy, and fully rational. The practical application of this prescriptive approach (how people ought to make decisions) is called decision analysis, and aimed at finding tools, methodologies and software to help people make better decisions. The most systematic and comprehensive software tools developed in this way are called decision support systems. In contrast, positive or descriptive decision theory is concerned with describing observed behaviors under the assumption that the decision-making agents are behaving under some consistent rules. These rules may, for instance, have a procedural framework (e.g. Amos Tversky's elimination by aspects model) or an axiomatic framework, reconciling the Von Neumann-Morgenstern axioms with behavioural violations of the expected utility hypothesis, or they may explicitly give a functional form for time-inconsistent utility functions (e.g. Laibson's quasi-hyperbolic discounting). The new prescriptions or predictions about behaviour that positive decision theory produces allow for further tests of the kind of decision-making that occurs in practice. There is a thriving dialogue with experimental economics, which uses laboratory and field experiments to evaluate and inform theory. In recent decades, there has also been increasing interest in what is
- 3. 3 | P a g e sometimes called 'behavioral decision theory' and this has contributed to a re-evaluation of what rational decision-making requires. What Kind of Decision’s is required to develop the theory? CHOICE UNDER CERTAINTY: This area represents the heart of decision theory. The procedure now referred to as expected value was known from the 17th century. Blaise Pascal invoked it in his famous wager (see below), which is contained in his Pensées, published in 1670. The idea of expected value is that, when faced with a number of actions, each of which could give rise to more than one possible outcome with different probabilities, the rational procedure is to identify all possible outcomes, determine their values (positive or negative) and the probabilities that will result from each course of action, and multiply the two to give an expected value. The action to be chosen should be the one that gives rise to the highest total expected value. In 1738, Daniel Bernoulli published an influential paper entitled Exposition of a New Theory on the Measurement of Risk, in which he uses the St. Petersburg paradox to show that expected value theory must benormatively wrong. He also gives an example in which a Dutch merchant is trying to decide whether to insure a cargo being sent from Amsterdam to St Petersburg in winter, when it is known that there is a 5% chance that the ship and cargo will be lost. In his solution, he defines a utility function and computes expected utility rather than expected financial value (see[2] for a review). In the 20th century, interest was reignited by Abraham Wald's 1939 paper[3] pointing out that the two central procedures of sampling–distribution–based statistical-theory, namely hypothesis testing and parameter estimation, are special cases of the general decision problem. Wald's paper renewed and synthesized many concepts of statistical theory, including loss functions, risk functions, admissible decision rules, antecedent distributions, Bayesian procedures, and minimax procedures. The phrase "decision theory" itself was used in 1950 by E. L. Lehmann.[4] The revival of subjective probability theory, from the work of Frank Ramsey, Bruno de Finetti, Leonard Savage and others, extended the scope of expected utility theory to situations where subjective probabilities can be used. At this time, von Neumann's theory of expected utility proved that expected utility maximization followed from basic postulates about rational behavior.
- 4. 4 | P a g e Daniel Kahneman The work of Maurice Allais and Daniel Ellsberg showed that human behavior has systematic and sometimes important departures from expected-utility maximization. The prospect theory of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky renewed the empirical study of economic behavior with less emphasis on rationality presuppositions. Kahneman and Tversky found three regularities — in actual human decision-making, "losses loom larger than gains"; persons focus more on changes in their utility–states than they focus on absolute utilities; and the estimation of subjective probabilities is severely biased by anchoring. Castagnoli and LiCalzi (1996), Bordley and LiCalzi (2000) recently showed that maximizing expected utility is mathematically equivalent to maximizing the probability that the uncertain consequences of a decision are preferable to an uncertain benchmark (e.g., the probability that a mutual fund strategy outperforms the S&P 500 or that a firm outperforms the uncertain future performance of a major competitor.). This reinterpretation relates to psychological work suggesting that individuals have fuzzy aspiration levels (Lopes & Oden). Hence it shifts the focus from utility to the individual's uncertain reference point. Pascal's Wager is a classic example of a choice under uncertainty. INTERTEMPORAL CHOICE: Intertemporal choice is concerned with the kind of choice where different actions lead to outcomes that are realised at different points in time. If someone received a windfall of several thousand dollars, they could spend it on an expensive holiday, giving them immediate pleasure, or they could invest it in a pension scheme, giving them an income at some time in the future. What is the optimal thing to do? The answer depends partly on factors such as the expected rates of interest and inflation, the person's life expectancy, and their confidence in the pensions industry. However even with all those factors taken into account, human behavior again deviates greatly from the predictions of prescriptive decision theory, leading to
- 5. 5 | P a g e alternative models in which, for example, objective interest rates are replaced by subjective discount rates. INTERACTION OF DECISION MAKERS: Some decisions are difficult because of the need to take into account how other people in the situation will respond to the decision that is taken. The analysis of such social decisions is more often treated under the label of game theory, rather than decision theory, though it involves the same mathematical methods. From the standpoint of game theory most of the problems treated in decision theory are one-player games (or the one player is viewed as playing against an impersonal background situation). In the emerging socio-cognitive engineering, the research is especially focused on the different types of distributed decision-making in human organizations, in normal and abnormal/emergency/crisis situations. COMPLEX DECISION MAKING PROCESS: Other areas of decision theory are concerned with decisions that are difficult simply because of their complexity, or the complexity of the organization that has to make them. Individuals making decisions may be limited in resources or are boundedly rational. In such cases the issue is not the deviation between real and optimal behaviour, but the difficulty of determining the optimal behaviour in the first place. The Club of Rome, for example, developed a model of economic growth and resource usage that helps politicians make real-life decisions in complex situations. Decisions are also affected by whether options are framed together or separately. This is known as the distinction bias. HEURISTICS: One method of decision-making is heuristic. The heuristic approach makes decisions based on routine thinking. While this is quicker than step-by-step processing, heuristic decision-making opens the risk of inaccuracy. Mistakes that otherwise would have been avoided in step-by-step processing can be made. One common and incorrect thought process that results from heuristic thinking is the gambler's fallacy. The gambler's fallacy makes the mistake of believing that a random event is affected by previous random events. For example, there is a fifty percent chance of a coin landing on heads. Gambler's fallacy suggests that if the coin lands on tails, the next time it flips, it will land on heads, as if it's “the coin's turn” to land on heads. This is simply not true. Such a fallacy is easily disproved in a step-by-step process of thinking. In another example, when choosing between options involving extremes, decision-makers may have a
- 6. 6 | P a g e heuristic that moderate alternatives are preferable to extreme ones. The Compromise Effect operates under a mindset driven by the belief that the most moderate option, amid extremes, carries the most benefits from each extreme. GAME THEORY AND PATTERNS: Game theory is the study of strategic decision making. Specifically, it is "the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision- makers."[1] An alternative term suggested "as a more descriptive name for the discipline" is interactive decision theory.[2] Game theory is mainly used in economics, political science, and psychology, as well as logic, computer science, and biology. The subject first addressed zero- sum games, such that one person's gains exactly equal net losses of the other participant or participants. Today, however, game theory applies to a wide range of behavioral relations, and has developed into an umbrella term for the logical side of decision science, including both humans and non-humans (e.g. computers, animals). Modern game theory began with the idea regarding the existence of mixed-strategy equilibrium in two-person zero-sum games and its proof by John von Neumann. Von Neumann's original proof used Brouwer fixed-point theorem on continuous mappings into compact convex sets, which became a standard method in game theory and mathematical economics. His paper was followed by the 1944 book Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, co-written with Oskar Morgenstern, which considered cooperative games of several players. The second edition of this book provided an axiomatic theory of expected utility, which allowed mathematical statisticians and economists to treat decision-making under uncertainty. This theory was developed extensively in the 1950s by many scholars. Game theory was later explicitly applied to biology in the 1970s, although similar developments go back at least as far as the 1930s. Game theory has been widely recognized as an important tool in many fields. With the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences going to game theorist Jean Tirole in 2014, eleven game-theorists have now won the economics Nobel Prize. John Maynard Smith was awarded the Crafoord Prize for his application of game theory to biology. REPRESENTATION OF GAMES AND INDUSTRY MODELLING:
- 7. 7 | P a g e The games studied in game theory are well-defined mathematical objects. To be fully defined, a game must specify the following elements: the players of the game, the information available to each player at each decision point, and the payoffs for each outcome. (Rasmusen refers to these four "essential elements" by the acronym "PAPI".) A game theorist typically uses these elements, along with a solution concept of their choosing, to deduce a set of equilibrium strategies for each player such that, when these strategies are employed, no player can profit by unilaterally deviating from their strategy. These equilibrium strategies determine the equilibrium, to the game—a stable state in which either one outcome occurs or a set of outcomes occurs with known probability. Most cooperative games are presented in the characteristic function form, while the extensive and the normal forms are used to define non cooperative games. EXTENSIVE FORMS: The extensive form can be used to formalize games with a time sequencing of moves. Games here are played on trees (as pictured to the left). Here each vertex (or node) represents a point of choice for a player. The player is specified by a number listed by the vertex. The lines out of the vertex represent a possible action for that player. The payoffs are specified at the bottom of the tree. The extensive form can be viewed as a multi-player generalization of a decision tree. The game pictured consists of two players. The way this particular game is structured (i.e., with sequential decision making and perfect information),Player 1 "moves" first by choosing either F or U (letters are assigned arbitrarily for mathematical purposes). Next in the sequence, Player 2, who has now seen Player 1's move, chooses to play either A or R. Once Player 2 has made his/ her choice, the game is considered finished and each player gets their respective payoff. Suppose that Player 1 chooses U and then Player 2 chooses A: Player 1 then gets a payoff of "eight" (which in real-world terms can be interpreted in many ways, the simplest of which is in terms of money but could be extrapolated to include things such as eight days of vacation or eight countries conquered or even eight more opportunities to play the same game against other players) and Player 2 gets a payoff of "two". The extensive form can also capture simultaneous-move games and games with imperfect information. To represent it, either a dotted line connects different vertices to represent them as being part of the same information set (i.e. the players do not know at which point they are), or a closed line is drawn around them.
- 8. 8 | P a g e NORMAL FORM: The normal (or strategic form) game is usually represented by a matrix which shows the players, strategies, and payoffs (see the example to the right). More generally it can be represented by any function that associates a payoff for each player with every possible combination of actions. In the accompanying example there are two players; one chooses the row and the other chooses the column. Each player has two strategies, which are specified by the number of rows and the number of columns. The payoffs are provided in the interior. The first number is the payoff received by the row player (Player 1 in our example); the second is the payoff for the column player (Player 2 in our example). Suppose that Player 1 plays Up and that Player 2 plays Left. Then Player 1 gets a payoff of 4, and Player 2 gets 3. When a game is presented in normal form, it is presumed that each player acts simultaneously or, at least, without knowing the actions of the other. If players have some information about the choices of other players, the game is usually presented in extensive form. Every extensive-form game has an equivalent normal-form game, however the transformation to normal form may result in an exponential blowup in the size of the representation, making it computationally impractical. Player 2 chooses Left Player 2 chooses Right Player 1 chooses Up 4, 3 –1, –1 Player 1 chooses Down 0, 0 3, 4
- 9. 9 | P a g e CHARASTERISTIC FUNCTION FORM: In games that possess removable utility separate rewards are not given; rather, the characteristic function decides the payoff of each unity. The idea is that the unity that is 'empty', so to speak, does not receive a reward at all. The origin of this form is to be found in John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern's book; when looking at these instances, they guessed that when a union appears, it works against the fraction as if two individuals were playing a normal game. The balanced payoff of C is a basic function. Although there are differing examples that help determine coalitional amounts from normal games, not all appear that in their function form can be derived from such. Formally, a characteristic function is seen as: (N,v), where N represents the group of people and is a normal utility. Such characteristic functions have expanded to describe games where there is no removable utility. CHARACTERISTIC FUNCTION FORM: In games that possess removable utility separate rewards are not given; rather, the characteristic function decides the payoff of each unity. The idea is that the unity that is 'empty', so to speak, does not receive a reward at all. The origin of this form is to be found in John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern's book; when looking at these instances, they guessed that when a union appears, it works against the fraction as if two individuals were playing a normal game. The balanced payoff of C is a basic function. Although there are differing examples that help determine coalitional amounts from normal games, not all appear that in their function form can be derived from such. Formally, a characteristic function is seen as: (N,v), where N represents the group of people and is a normal utility. Such characteristic functions have expanded to describe games where there is no removable utility.
- 10. 10 | P a g e DESCRIPTION AND MODELLING: The primary use of game theory is to describe and model how human populations behave. Some scholars believe that by finding the equilibria of games they can predict how actual human populations will behave when confronted with situations analogous to the game being studied. This particular view of game theory has been criticized. First, it argued that the assumptions made by game theorists are often violated when applied to real world situations. Game theorists usually assume players act rationally, but in practice, human behavior often deviates from this model. Game theorists respond by comparing their assumptions to those used in physics. Thus while their assumptions do not always hold, they can treat game theory as a reasonable scientific ideal akin to the models used by physicists. However, empirical work has shown that in some classic games, such as the centipede game, guess 2/3 of the average game, and the dictator game, people regularly do not play Nash equilibria. There is an ongoing debate regarding the importance of these experiments and whether the analysis of the experiments fully captures all aspects of the relevant situation.[8] Some game theorists, following the work of John Maynard Smith and George R. Price, have turned to evolutionary game theory in order to resolve these issues. These models presume either no rationality or bounded rationality on the part of players. Despite the name, evolutionary game theory does not necessarily presume natural selection in the biological sense. Evolutionary game theory includes both biological as well as cultural evolution and also models of individual learning (for example, fictitious play dynamics). PERSPECTIVE OR NORMATIVE ANALYSIS MODELLING: Some scholars, like Leonard Savage, see game theory not as a predictive tool for the behavior of human beings, but as a suggestion for how people ought to behave. Since a strategy, corresponding to a Nash equilibrium of a game constitutes one's best response to the actions of the other players – provided they are in (the same) Nash equilibrium – playing a strategy that is
- 11. 11 | P a g e part of a Nash equilibrium seems appropriate. This normative use of game theory has also come under criticism. TYPES OF GAMES: COOPERATIVE VS NON COOPERATIVE: A game is cooperative if the players are able to form binding commitments. For instance, the legal systemrequires them to adhere to their promises. In non cooperative games, this is not possible. Often it is assumed that communication among players is allowed in cooperative games, but not in non-cooperative ones. However, this classification on two binary criteria has been questioned, and sometimes rejected.[41] Of the two types of games, non cooperative games are able to model situations to the finest details, producing accurate results. Cooperative games focus on the game at large. Considerable efforts have been made to link the two approaches. The so-called Nash- programme (Nash program is the research agenda for investigating on the one hand axiomatic bargaining solutions and on the other hand the equilibrium outcomes of strategic bargaining procedures) has already established many of the cooperative solutions as noncooperative equilibria. Hybrid games contain cooperative and non-cooperative elements. For instance, coalitions of players are formed in a cooperative game, but these play in a non-cooperative fashion. SYMMETRIC VS ASSYMETRIC: A symmetric game is a game where the payoffs for playing a particular strategy depend only on the other strategies employed, not on who is playing them. If the identities of the players can be changed without changing the payoff to the strategies, then a game is symmetric. Many of the commonly studied 2×2 games are symmetric. The standard representations of chicken, the prisoner's dilemma, and the stag hunt are all symmetric games. Some[who?] scholars would consider certain asymmetric games as examples of these games as well. However, the most common payoffs for each of these games are symmetric. Most commonly studied asymmetric games are games where there are not identical strategy sets for both players. For instance, the ultimatum game and similarly the dictator game have
- 12. 12 | P a g e different strategies for each player. It is possible, however, for a game to have identical strategies for both players, yet be asymmetric. For example, the game pictured to the right is asymmetric despite having identical strategy sets for both players. ZERO SUM/ NON ZERO GAME: Zero-sum games are a special case of constant-sum games, in which choices by players can neither increase nor decrease the available resources. In zero-sum games the total benefit to all players in the game, for every combination of strategies, always adds to zero (more informally, a player benefits only at the equal expense of others). Poker exemplifies a zero-sum game (ignoring the possibility of the house's cut), because one wins exactly the amount one's opponents lose. Other zero-sum games include matching pennies and most classicalboard games including Go and chess. Many games studied by game theorists (including the infamous prisoner's dilemma) are non- zero-sum games, because the outcome has net results greater or less than zero. Informally, in non-zero-sum games, a gain by one player does not necessarily correspond with a loss by another. Constant-sum games correspond to activities like theft and gambling, but not to the fundamental economic situation in which there are potential gains from trade. It is possible to transform any game into a (possibly asymmetric) zero-sum game by adding a dummy player (often called "the board") whose losses compensate the players' net winnings. E F E 1, 2 0, 0 F 0, 0 1, 2 An asymmetric game
- 13. 13 | P a g e SIMULTANEOUS VS SEQUENTIAL: Simultaneous games are games where both players move simultaneously, or if they do not move simultaneously, the later players are unaware of the earlier players' actions (making them effectively simultaneous). Sequential games (or dynamic games) are games where later players have some knowledge about earlier actions. This need not be perfect information about every action of earlier players; it might be very little knowledge. For instance, a player may know that an earlier player did not perform one particular action, while he does not know which of the other available actions the first player actually performed. The difference between simultaneous and sequential games is captured in the different representations discussed above. Often, normal form is used to represent simultaneous games, while extensive form is used to represent sequential ones. The transformation of extensive to normal form is one way, meaning that multiple extensive form games correspond to the same normal form. Consequently, notions of equilibrium for simultaneous games are insufficient for reasoning about sequential games; see sub game perfection. In short, the differences between sequential and simultaneous games are as follows: Sequential Simultaneous Normally denoted by Decision trees Payoff matrices A B A –1, 1 3, –3 B 0, 0 –2, 2 A zero-sum game
- 14. 14 | P a g e Prior knowledge of opponent's move? Yes No Time axis? Yes No Also known as Extensive-form game Extensive game Strategy game Strategic game PERFECT INFORMATION VS IMPERCFECT INFORMATION: An important subset of sequential games consists of games of perfect information. A game is one of perfect information if all players know the moves previously made by all other players. Thus, only sequential games can be games of perfect information because players in simultaneous games do not know the actions of the other players. Most games studied in game theory are imperfect-information games. Interesting examples of perfect-information games include the ultimatum game and centipede game. Recreational games of perfect information games include chess, goand mancala. Many card games are games of imperfect information, such as poker or contract bridge. Perfect information is often confused with complete information, which is a similar concept. Complete information requires that every player know the strategies and payoffs available to the other players but not necessarily the actions taken. Games of incomplete information can be reduced, however, to games of imperfect information by introducing "moves by nature".

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