Game Theory : Basic Concepts, History And Models

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Shuwen Shen Mr. Li ITS 102 April, 23, 2016 Game Theory: Basic Concepts, history and Models In ancient China, during an era known as “Warring States Period”, China was divided and conquered by independent seven warring states. King Wei of Qi, who was the emperor of Qi State, and the general Tian Ji, were both horse racing fans. They always bet heavily on winning and losing. This is just the background of Tian Ji’s horse racing strategy. Now here comes the dilemma. The horses can be divided into three different speed classes: fast, medium and slow. Since the king’s horses are always better than Tian Ji’s, Tian Ji always lose the game. However, Tian Ji can choose the order of the horses to compete. There are three rounds of a race and anyone who wins two rounds can be the final winner. This is one of the most well-known and popular stories in China today, which was originally recorded in the Records of History, biography of Sun Bin (Si-Ma 65). Many people may have heard this story when they were still in elementary school. In order to get rid of this dilemma, Sun Bin, who is Tian Ji’s friend, came up with a clever and perfect method, that is, pitting the slow horse against the king’s fast horse, fast horse against the king’s medium horse, and medium horse against the king’s slow house. After finishing all three rounds, although Tian Ji lost the first race, he would win the following two rounds so that he would be the winner of the whole race. Fig. 1. Tian Ji’s horse racing
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