Tutorial Home Lessons from the Prisoner's Dilemma

Some Further Reading

These are increasing in difficulty from top to bottom.

Another Interactive Prisoner's Dilemma
Online at http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/playground/pd.html
This is provided by the Serendip online community at Bryn Mawr College, USA. It should be easy to work out which strategy the computer is playing.

Hinde, K. (2001) The Prisoner's Dilemma Game
This 22-minute lecture is available as a streaming slide show with audio. It makes clear the relevance of PD to economic questions of co-operation. Kevin Hinde is an Economics lecturer at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle.

Crawford, S. (2002) The Prisoner's Dilemma In Detail
Online at: http://www.open2.net/trust/dilemma/dilemma_detail1.htm
This introduction to the game by a philosopher is presented by the BBC and the Open University and comes with its own interactive Flash game which is appropriately set in a prison.

Poundstone, W. (1993) Prisoner's Dilemma: John Von Neumann, Game Theory and the Puzzle of the Bomb. Anchor Books
This is an enthralling paperback which alternates episodes from the life of "celebrity mathematician" John von Neumann (and the role he played in the Cold War) with an introduction to game theory. It explains the Prisoner's Dilemma in depth, along with variations such as the Stag Hunt and Chicken. As well as his foundational role in game theory, von Neumann was one of the inventors of the modern computer.

Axelrod, R. (1990) The Evolution of Co-operation. Penguin books
This is the tale of the computer simulation in which many different strategies fought to the death in a multi-way Prisoner's Dilemma. Co-operative but forgiving strategies - including Tit for Tat - did surprisingly well. Axelrod provides real-life examples of the evolution of co-operation, even including the trenches of World War I. (This 1990 edition is the UK edition: the US edition dates from 1984)

Binmore, K. (1998) Review of R. Axelrod, "The Complexity of Cooperation: Agent-Based Models of Competition and Collaboration", Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 1998
Online at: http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/1/1/review1.html
Ken Binmore is an eminent game-theorist. His critical review of Axelrod's work shows that the key findings about the emergence of co-operation did not originate with him, but were worked out by economists decades earlier. However, Binmore says, Axelrod has made a contribution by introducing an evolutionary dimension to our thinking about co-operation.

Kuhn, S. (2001) "Prisoner's Dilemma" entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Online at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/prisoner-dilemma/
This technical survey gives an absolute mass of references to the literature, and is a starting point for a serious examination of the Dilemma.


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