The hierarchical approach to modeling knowledge and common knowledge
AbstractOne approach to representing knowledge or belief of agents, used by economists and computer scientists, involves an infinite hierarchy of beliefs. Such a hierarchy consists of an agent's beliefs about the state of the world, his beliefs about other agents' beliefs about the world, his beliefs about other agents' beliefs about other agents' beliefs about the world, and so on. (Economists have typically modeled belief in terms of a probability distribution on the uncertainty space. In contrast, computer scientists have modeled belief in terms of a set of worlds, intuitively, the ones the agent considers possible.) We consider the question of when a countably infinite hierarchy completely describes the uncertainty of the agents. We provide various necessary and sufficient conditions for this property. It turns out that the probability-based approach can be viewed as satisfying one of these conditions, which explains why a countable hierarchy suffices in this case. These conditions also show that whether a countable hierarchy suffices may depend on the "richness" of the states in the underlying state space. We also consider the question of whether a countable hierarchy suffices for "interesting" sets of events, and show that the answer depends on the definition of "interesting".
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal International Journal of Game Theory.
Volume (Year): 28 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://link.springer.de/link/service/journals/00182/index.htm
Other versions of this item:
- Ronald Fagin & John Geanakoplos & Joseph Y. Halpern & Moshe Y. Vardi, 1999. "The Hierarchical Approach to Modeling Knowledge and Common Knowledge," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1213, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- B12 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Classical (includes Adam Smith)
- B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Rubinstein, Ariel, 1989. "The Electronic Mail Game: Strategic Behavior under "Almost Common Knowledge."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 385-91, June.
- Harsanyi, John C, 1995.
"Games with Incomplete Information,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 291-303, June.
- Heifetz, Aviad & Samet, Dov, 1998. "Knowledge Spaces with Arbitrarily High Rank," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 260-273, February.
- Werlang, Sérgio Ribeiro da Costa, 1988. "Common knowledge," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 118, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
- Brandenburger Adam & Dekel Eddie, 1993. "Hierarchies of Beliefs and Common Knowledge," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 189-198, February.
- Robert J. Aumann, 1999. "Interactive epistemology I: Knowledge," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 263-300.
- Board, Oliver, 2004.
"Dynamic interactive epistemology,"
Games and Economic Behavior,
Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 49-80, October.
- Brânzei, R. & Tijs, S.H. & Timmer, J.B., 2000. "Collecting Information to improve Decision-Making," Discussion Paper 2000-26, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Baratgin, Jean, 2009. "Updating our beliefs about inconsistency: The Monty-Hall case," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 67-95, January.
- Mariotti, Thomas & Meier, Martin & Piccione, Michele, 2005. "Hierarchies of beliefs for compact possibility models," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 303-324, April.
- Tohme, Fernando, 2005. "Existence and definability of states of the world," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 81-100, January.
- Pivato, Marcus, 2008. "The Discursive Dilemma and Probabilistic Judgement Aggregation," MPRA Paper 8412, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Xiao Luo & Yi-Chun Chen, 2004. "A Unified Approach to Information, Knowledge, and Stability," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 472, Econometric Society.
- Moscati Ivan, 2009. "Interactive and common knowledge in the state-space model," CESMEP Working Papers 200903, University of Turin.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.