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Rage Against the Machines - How Subjects Learn to Play Against Computers

Listed author(s):
  • Dürsch, Peter

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Heidelberg)

  • Kolb, Albert

    (Department of Economics, University of Bonn)

  • Oechssler, Jörg

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Heidelberg)

  • Schipper, Burkhard

    ()

    (University of California, Davis Department of Economics)

We use an experiment to explore how subjects learn to play against computers which are programmed to follow one of a number of standard learning algorithms. The learning theories are (unbeknown to subjects) a best response process, fictitious play, imitation, reinforcement learning, and a trial & error process. We test whether subjects try to influence those algorithms to their advantage in a forward-looking way (strategic teaching). We find that strategic teaching occurs frequently and that all learning algorithms are subject to exploitation with the notable exception of imitation. The experiment was conducted, both, on the internet and in the usual laboratory setting. We find some systematic differences, which however can be traced to the different incentives structures rather than the experimental environment.

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File URL: http://www.sfb504.uni-mannheim.de/publications/dp05-36.pdf
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Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim in its series Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications with number 05-36.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 24 Oct 2005
Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:05-36
Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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  5. Kirchkamp, Oliver & Nagel, Rosemarie, 2005. "Learning and cooperation in network experiments," Papers 05-27, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
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  7. Jose Apesteguia & Steffen Huck & Jörg Oechssler, 2005. "Imitation - Theory and Experimental Evidence -," Working Papers 0419, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2005.
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  10. McCabe, Kevin & Houser, Daniel & Ryan, Lee & Smith, Vernon & Trouard, Ted, 2001. "A Functional Imaging Study of Cooperation in Two-Person reciprocal Exchange," MPRA Paper 5172, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  12. Vahid, F. & Sarin, R., 2001. "Strategy Similarity and Coordination," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 8/01, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
  13. Offerman, T.J.S. & Potters, J.J.M. & Sonnemans, J., 2002. "Imitation and belief learning in an oligopoly experiment," Other publications TiSEM a6a771c5-31ba-4193-8f76-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
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  15. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 2004. "Two are few and four are many: number effects in experimental oligopolies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 435-446, April.
  16. Laslier, J.-F. & Topol, R. & Walliser, B., 1999. "A Behavioral Learning Process in Games," Papers 99-03, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
  17. Roth, Alvin E. & Erev, Ido, 1995. "Learning in extensive-form games: Experimental data and simple dynamic models in the intermediate term," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 164-212.
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  19. Ianni, A., 2002. "Reinforcement learning and the power law of practice: some analytical results," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0203, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  20. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David, 1998. "Learning in games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 631-639, May.
  21. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Joerg Oechssler, 1997. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly - An Experiment," Game Theory and Information 9707009, EconWPA, revised 22 Jul 1997.
  22. Kirchkamp, Oliver & Nagel, Rosemarie, 2007. "Naive learning and cooperation in network experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 269-292, February.
  23. Ellison, Glenn, 1997. "Learning from Personal Experience: One Rational Guy and the Justification of Myopia," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 180-210, May.
  24. Schipper, Burkhard C, 2011. "Strategic control of myopic best reply in repeated games," MPRA Paper 30219, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  25. Monderer, Dov & Shapley, Lloyd S., 1996. "Potential Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 124-143, May.
  26. Camerer, Colin F. & Ho, Teck-Hua & Chong, Juin-Kuan, 2002. "Sophisticated Experience-Weighted Attraction Learning and Strategic Teaching in Repeated Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 137-188, May.
  27. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Joerg Oechssler, 2004. "Through Trial and Error to Collusion," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(1), pages 205-224, 02.
  28. Alos-Ferrer, Carlos, 2004. "Cournot versus Walras in dynamic oligopolies with memory," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 193-217, February.
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