MAT199 · Erich Prisner · Franklin College · Fall 2007

Group Writing Project


  1. This project is done in groups of up to three students.
  2. The group could be identical to that for the research paper presentation task, but it doesn't have to. It may be best if such a group consists of rather different student types---then it is most likely that you complement each other.
  3. The topic could also be related to the topic in the research paper presentation task.
  4. Until Th, November 6, students should form groups and select a topic.
  5. ...


Topic Description Literature Keywords
Location Games Discuss the restaurant placement game discussed in this page. Consider different versions: versions where every player places one, two or three restaurants, and the sequential versions as well. Find the solutions in the third example in the on the Location applet. Discuss whether here and in general the first moving player or the second moving player would have an advantage int eh sequential (one, two, or three restaurant) versions. the script
Sequential Quiz Show with two players Analyze the game Sequential Quiz Show(2), which is like Sequential Quiz Show but with the difference that there are only two players. the script
Sequential Quiz Show with three players---Beth knows one answer to be false Analyze this version of Sequential Quiz Show. Discuss whether Beth then should tell the other two players at the beginning that she knows one answers to be wrong (of course, she would not reveal which one) or not.the script
Airport Shuttle Star Bus and Giosy travel are both shuttles to the airport in Malpensa. Use the two shuttle schedules, and maybe data from the airport Malpensa indicating about how many passengers are arriving and departing during the different hours of the day (or use reasonable assumptions) to find out which shuttle company has the better schedule. Also find out which schedule would occur in a Nash equilibrium. .Airport Shuttle, and shuttle shedules and Malpensa airport shedules.
Variants of Waiting for Mr. Perfect Discuss and analyze some of the following three variants of Waiting for Mr. Perfect:
1) Analyse the two player, two rounds variant with awards of value 1, 2, or 3, starting with three awards of value 1, two awards of value 2, and only one award of value 3. In the first round one of these six awards is chosen randomly, and in the second round one of the remaining five awards is selected randomly.
2) How would the game change if the number of available rounds is not fixed at the beginning. Rather after every round, either the whole game ends (say with probability 1/5) or there is another round (with probability 4/5).
3) Discuss the two player, two rounds version with awards "C", "D", and "E", where "C" is worth 2 for Ann but 3 for Beth, "D" is worth 3 for Ann and 1 for Beth, and "E" is worth 1 for Ann and 2 for Beth.
Waiting for Mr. Perfect,
Shubik Auctions: Have a deeper look into the analysis of different Shubik Auctions: Try two or three players, different increments, different maximum bid, and different worth of the item. Also try the variant where at each step the game may terminate with a given fixed probability. Find out which probability would be best for the auctioneer. The project also involves a experimental part. Investigate how real people play it. Then also write on other auctions and refer to some literature on it. Auctions, Shubik auction, experiments
Hide and Seek In a hide and seek game, you have four (or more) boxes. The hider hides something in one of the boxes, which the seeker tries to find by opening just one box. Additionaly there usually is some structure to the experiments---the boxes are arranged in a row, for instance, have certain colors and labels. All of this may affect the players choices, but cannot be modeled by the ordinary payoff matrix and its mixed solution. Research in this area has been initiated by Ariel Rubinstein. hide and seek, experiments,
Playing with inexperienced or experiences opponents It may be optimal to deviate from the theoretically optimal strategy if you know that your opponent(s) deviate as well. In particular, you might play differently, depending on whether you face experienced and inexperienced players. Nagel and also others investigate this question at the example of the so-called "Beauty Contest Game". learning, experiments, repeated games
Do people play mixed strategies? Barry O'Neill wrote a paper in 1987 investigating how close a theoretical mixed strategy equilibrium in a zero-sum game comes to how real people play. experiments, mixed strategies, simultaneous games
Spence's Job Offer Game and other games with incomplete information A. Michael Spence, another Bank of Sweden Nobel Prize winners, created this model in 1973. Since then, a lot of literature has been written on the model and variants. Incomplete Information, Spence, Job offering game
A measure of the complexity and of games Analysing a game gives only a slight advantage, if any. For instance, if you play "Rock-scissors-paper" optimally, you will probably not lose much on the long run, but you will not win much either. This is different in some sequential games, like Nim. Does it have to do with dominated strategies? Do games with a lot of dominated strategies give the player not analyzing the game a disadvantage since she may play these dominated strategies? Or is it connected with the number of rounds a sequential game has? .....
Cooperative Games Cooperative games allow the players to communicate before playing, and also to make binding agreements. The question is how this agreements may look like, depending on the game the players are about to play. This is a large topic---you should only approach it if you don't fear formulas and hard work. Shapley Value and Core
Distribute a cake Compare different methods. Shouldn't such a method be fair, Pareto-optimal, easy to understand and to use, and maybe give incentives for not wasting our time? Ultimatum bargaining, Nash bargaining, experiments, committment,

Group Writing Rubric

The referees are supposed to address each of the items in the following rubric when refereeing the paper, but are supposed to use their own words. This rubric will also serve as the guide for obtaining a letter grade on the group writing paper.
    F     B-     A
Introduction weak introduction of topic and thesis, thesis is weak and lacks an arguable position good introduction of topic and thesis, the thesis is a clear and arguable statement of position exceptional introduction that grabs interest of reader, the thesis is exceptionally clear, arguable, and well developed
Organization Ideas seem to be randomly arranged, no attempt for paragraph organization; writing may be repetitious or too redundant. Organization is evident, but maybe not best possible Good organization of essay; all paragraphs are appropriate and purposeful; Coherence (paragraph to paragraph) and cohesion (sentence to sentence) are effective throughout paper.
Literature Survey (where applicable) ..... An attempt has been made to find out whether relevant literature on the topic exists and to understand and communicate the relevant parts. Very often, no literature would exist on the special model considered, but even then there may be papers weakly related, Topics with less emphasis on a model, like topics 6-11, would require more literature survey.
Theoretical Part ..... One game is modeled, described in normal or extensive form (or both), and carafully analyzed using all tools available. All topics should have such a model, but in topics 1 to 5 it forms the main part of the paper, whereas in topics 6-11 it would rather serve as an example. .....
Empirical Part ..... not required for these projects. .....
Conclusion -lack of summary of topic, thesis & subtopics with weak concluding ideas -good summary of topic, thesis and all subtopics with clear concluding ideas -excellent summary of topic (with no new information), thesis & all subtopics in proper order with concluding ideas that leave an impact on reader
Originality ..... ..... A very good paper should contain parts, either new subquestions, or discussion of results obtained, or comparison of results and the real world, or something else, which are not yet sketched in the topic desciption.
Language Conventions inconsistent grammar, spelling and paragraphing throughout paper Fewer than 4 errors in punctuation and grammar, and fewer than 4 words are misspelled paper is very concise, clear, with consistently proper grammar, spelling and paragraphing
..... ..... proper use of formulas
..... ..... proper description and labeling of data, graphs, and other supporting material
the paper is written in inappropriate point of view appropriate point of view appropriate point of view
Bibliography lack of proper format and many sources missing or incomplete mostly proper format used with all sources shown and a variety of sources proper, detailed format with all sources shown and a wide variety of sources