An abstract approach to reasoning about games with mistaken and changing beliefs

Benedikt Löwe, Eric Pacuit

Abstract


We do not believe that logic is the sole answer to deep and intriguing questions about human behaviour, but we think that it might be a useful tool in simulating and understanding it to a certain degree and in specifically restricted areas of application. We do not aim to resolve the question of what rational behaviour in games with mistaken and changing beliefs is. Rather, we develop a formal and abstract framework that allows us to reason about behaviour in games with mistaken and changing beliefs leaving aside normative questions concerning whether the agents are behaving “rationally”; we focus on what agents do in a game. In this paper, we are not concerned with the reasoning process of the (ideal) economic agent; rather, our intended application is artificial agents, e.g., autonomous agents interacting with a human user or with each other as part of a computer game or in a virtual world. We give a story of mistaken beliefs that is a typical example of the situation in which we should want our formal setting to be applied. Then we give the definitions for our formal system and how to use this setting to get a backward induction solution. We then apply our semantics to the story related earlier and give an analysis of it. Our final section contains a discussion of related work and future projects. We discuss the advantages of our approach over existing approaches and indicate how it can be connected to the existing literature.

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