Prisoner's dilemma

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A problem defined in game theory in which the "obvious" strategy is rarely adopted in real-world situations. It was originally framed by Merrill Flood and Melvin Dresher in 1950 it was named by Albert W. Tucker.

In its classical form, the prisoner's dilemma is presented as follows:

Two suspects are arrested by the police. The police have insufficient evidence for a conviction, and, having separated both prisoners, visit each of them to offer the same deal. If one testifies for the prosecution against the other and the other remains silent, the betrayer goes free and the silent accomplice receives the full 10-year sentence. If both remain silent, both prisoners are sentenced to only six months in jail for a minor charge. If each betrays the other, each receives a five-year sentence. Each prisoner must choose to betray the other or to remain silent. Each one is assured that the other would not know about the betrayal before the end of the investigation. How should the prisoners act?

Tragedy of the Commons metaphor

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The following pages link to here: Game Theory, Tragedy of the Commons

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