Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A choice prediction competition for simple extensive form games

The following announcement was recently circulated, and might be of interest:

A Call for participation in a choice prediction competition for simple extensive form games

Dear Colleagues,

We write to invite you, and your students, to participate in a new choice prediction competition that is conducted as part of the special issue of the journal Games http://www.mdpi.com/search/?s_journal=games&s_special_issue=648

The competition focuses on the prediction of behavior in one-shot extensive form games. In these games a proposer chooses between action Out, which enforces “outside option” payoffs on the two players, and action In. If In is chosen then the responder determines the payoff allocation by choosing between action Left and action Right.  The competition is composed of two independent sub-competitions: one that predicts the proposer’s behavior and another that predicts the responder’s behavior.

The organizers first ran (in May 2010) an experimental study of 120 games that were randomly selected from a well-defined space of games. The raw experimental results of this study, referred to as the “estimation experiment,” are presented in the competition’s website (http://sites.google.com/site/extformpredcomp/home). In addition, the competition website includes the rules of the competition, and a link to a paper that summarizes the results of the estimation experiment and explores the value of several baseline models (https://sites.google.com/site/extformpredcomp/EEREFG.pdf)

The site explains that the goal of the participants in the competition is to predict the results of a second experiment. This study, referred to as the “competition experiment,” will be kept confidential until 2 December 2011. The competition experiment uses the same method as the estimation experiment, but studies different games (drawn from the same space of games) and different subjects.

You are invited to participate in the competitions, and/or to use it as one of the assignments to your students for the 2011 Fall semester (see details below).  To participate in the competition you will have to email us a computer program (in MATLAB, Visual Basic, or SAS) that reads the parameters of the games (the incentive structure) as input, and predicts the main results as output. The program should be an implementation of your favorite model. To develop and/or estimate your model you are encouraged to analyze the data of the estimation experiment, and to build on the baseline models that were posted in the competition website.  To use the competition as a class assignment you should follow the assignment instructions in the site https://sites.google.com/site/extformpredcomp/registration-1.

The submitted models will be ranked based on the mean squared deviation between the predictions and the results of the competition experiment.

The prize for the winners will include an invitation to publish a paper that describes the winning model in Games, and an invitation to a special workshop. The submission deadline for this competition is 1 December 2011. You are allowed to submit one model as a first author and to co-author up to two additional submissions.

Using the competition as a class assignment:
Professors who want to use the competitions as one of their class assignments are asked to contact us at gamespredcomp@gmail.com.  The professor will receive a course ID to give the students.  To be associated with a course, submissions will specify the course ID and the professor’s name. The models will be treated like any regular submission, except that the professor will also receive a copy of the models’ rankings assigned with his/her class ID.

Best Regards,
Eyal Ert, Ido Erev, and Al Roth

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