The Prevalence Of Chaotic Dynamics In Games With Many Players

Date: 20 March 2018

We study adaptive learning in a typical p-player game. The payoffs of the games are randomly generated and then held fixed. The strategies of the players evolve through time as the players learn. The trajectories in the strategy space display a range of qualitatively different behaviours, with attractors that include unique fixed points, multiple fixed points, limit cycles and chaos. In the limit where the game is complicated, in the sense that the players can take many possible actions, we use a generating-functional approach to establish the parameter range in which learning dynamics converge to a stable fixed point. The size of this region goes to zero as the number of players goes to infinity, suggesting that complex non-equilibrium behaviour, exemplified by chaos, is the norm for complicated games with many players.

J. Doyne Farmer Tobias Galla James B. T. Sanders

Complexity Economics

The prevalence of chaotic dynamics in games with many players


Type: paper

Sanders, J.B.T., Farmer, J. D. and Galla, T. (2018). “The Prevalence Of Chaotic Dynamics In Games With Many Players”, Scientific Reports 8:4902.


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