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Scaling Up Learning Models in Public Good Games

Jasmina Arifovic () and John Ledyard

Journal of Public Economic Theory, 2004, vol. 6, issue 2, 203-238

Abstract: We study three learning rules (reinforcement learning (RL), experience weighted attraction learning (EWA), and individual evolutionary learning (IEL)) and how they perform in three different Groves-Ledyard mechanisms. We are interested in how well these learning rules duplicate human behavior in repeated games with a continuum of strategies. We find that RL does not do well, IEL does significantly better, as does EWA, but only if given a small discretized strategy space. We identify four main features a learning rule should have in order to stack up against humans in a minimal competency test: (1) the use of hypotheticals to create history, (2) the ability to focus only on what is important, (3) the ability to forget history when it is no longer important, and (4) the ability to try new things. Copyright 2004 Blackwell Publishing Inc..

Date: 2004
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Journal of Public Economic Theory is currently edited by Rabah Amir, Gareth Myles and Myrna Wooders

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