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Bruns, Bryan Randolph
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[Journal:] Games [ISSN:] 2073-4336 [Volume:] 6 [Year:] 2015 [Issue:] 4 [Pages:] 495-520
Prisoner's Dilemma, Chicken, Stag Hunts, and other two-person two-move (2 × 2) models of strategic situations have played a central role in the development of game theory. The Robinson-Goforth topology of payoff swaps reveals a natural order in the payoff space of 2 × 2 games, visualized in their four-layer "periodic table" format that elegantly organizes the diversity of 2 × 2 games, showing relationships and potential transformations between neighboring games. This article presents additional visualizations of the topology, and a naming system for locating all 2 × 2 games as combinations of game payoff patterns from the symmetric ordinal 2 × 2 games. The symmetric ordinal games act as coordinates locating games in maps of the payoff space of 2 × 2 games, including not only asymmetric ordinal games and the complete set of games with ties, but also ordinal and normalized equivalents of all games with ratio or real-value payoffs. An efficient nomenclature can contribute to a systematic understanding of the diversity of elementary social situations; clarify relationships between social dilemmas and other joint preference structures; identify interesting games; show potential solutions available through transforming incentives; catalog the variety of models of 2 × 2 strategic situations available for experimentation, simulation, and analysis; and facilitate cumulative and comparative research in game theory.
taxonomy of 2 × 2 games
transforming strategic situations
strict and non-strict ordinal games
social dilemmas
collective action problems
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