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Cycle frequency in standard Rock–Paper–Scissors games: Evidence from experimental economics

Listed author(s):
  • Xu, Bin
  • Zhou, Hai-Jun
  • Wang, Zhijian

The Rock–Paper–Scissors (RPS) game is a widely used model system in game theory. Evolutionary game theory predicts the existence of persistent cycles in the evolutionary trajectories of the RPS game, but experimental evidence has remained to be rather weak. In this work, we performed laboratory experiments on the RPS game and analyzed the social-state evolutionary trajectories of twelve populations of N=6 players. We found strong evidence supporting the existence of persistent cycles. The mean cycling frequency was measured to be 0.029±0.009 period per experimental round. Our experimental observations can be quantitatively explained by a simple non-equilibrium model, namely the discrete-time logit dynamical process with a noise parameter. Our work therefore favors the evolutionary game theory over the classical game theory for describing the dynamical behavior of the RPS game.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378437113005578
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications.

Volume (Year): 392 (2013)
Issue (Month): 20 ()
Pages: 4997-5005

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Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:392:y:2013:i:20:p:4997-5005
DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2013.06.039
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/physica-a-statistical-mechpplications/

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