Complexity of Cooperation

牛人(Axelrod, Robert M)写的东西就是不一样。清晰、可读、启发、实用。不像上次看的两篇paper,特别是人工智能杂志的那一篇,虽然N长,引用了N百篇论文,但看半天都不知道说什么。只知道关于cooperation这个问题,嗯,东西很多很多,而且,那个牛人提的理论,是有问题的,针对那些问题,又有什么什么人作出什么什么改进。可惜那些改进看起来都如此复杂,都不知道说什么。而且,那两篇paper,基本上都没有提任何应用背景,没提那些假定怎么来的,所以,搞得那些文字就像一堆堆的数学公式,也就是一堆堆不知所以的符号,让人不知所云。


The Evolution of Cooperation, with its focus on the Prisoner’s Dilemma,
was written during the Cold War. Indeed, one of its primary motivations
was to help promote cooperation between the two sides of a
bipolar world. My hope was that a deeper understanding of the conditions
that promote cooperation could help make the world a little safer.


My earlier work on the Prisoner’s Dilemma (Axelrod 1984) illustrates
this theme. My main motivation for learning about effective strategies
was to find out how cooperation could be promoted in international politics,
especially between the East and the West during the Cold War. As it
happened, my tournament approach and the evolutionary analysis that
grew out of it suggested applications of which I had not even dreamed.
For example, controlled experiments show that stickleback fish use the
tit for tat strategy to achieve cooperation based upon reciprocity (Milinski
At a political science convention, a colleague came up to me and said
she really appreciated my work and found it helpful for her divorce. She
explained that my book showed her that she had been a sucker during
her marriage, always giving in to her husband. I asked whether the book
helped save her marriage. “No,” she replied. “I didn’t want to save my
marriage. But it certainly helped with the divorce settlement. I started to
play tit for tat, and once he learned that I couldn’t be pushed around, I
got a much better deal.”


Throughout the social sciences today, the dominant form of modeling
is based upon the rational-choice paradigm. Game theory, in particular, is
typically based upon the assumption of rational choice. In my view, the
reason for the dominance of the rational-choice approach is not that
scholars think it is realistic. Nor is game theory used solely because it
offers good advice to a decision maker, because its unrealistic assumptions
undermine much of its value as a basis for advice. The real advantage
of the rational-choice assumption is that it often allows deduction.

Axelrod, Robert M. Complexity of Cooperation : Agent-Based Models of Competition & Collaboration.
Ewing, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press, 1997. p 4.

Copyright © 1997.  Princeton University Press.  All rights reserved.