Man, what a midterm. The results just came in from my Operating Systems midterm, where the class average was 53%, and the median (which means half the marks were below it) was a 46.5%. So half the class failed. 80% of the class got a 60 or below. [Luckily im an OS nerd, so I got a 60]
I just got home (well now, maybe just
is too strong a word. I recently got home) from a talk on Game Theory and how it intersects with Comptuer Science. A nifty talk, almost too short.
So my loyal reader is asking, what the hell is Game Theory? Well, its a field of Mathematics that deals with the theory of games, duh. Really though, its a way of thinking about games in a structured manner. Categorizing types of games, strategies, and resolutions. An example used in the lecture was playing Rock Paper Scissors.
Everyone knows the rules of RPS. So according to game theory, what's the optimal way of playing it? Selecting randomly between rock, paper and scissors.
You already knew that? You win a cookie. It's a poor example. What about the best next possible move in chess? A little more complicated. So the way that this is looked at in game theory is to look at all outcomes, and choose the one with the highest total utility. (You remember your economics classes, right? Utility is the measure of satisfaction derived).
Then interesting results will happen. We find games that have natural points of equilibrium, and more importantly we can devise games that have natural points of equilibrium to help us in real world situations. Detail was gone into routing, and how a router might choose a path for sending a packet, or creating a type of auction for contiguous peices of land. In a scenario where it would be more benificial to gain multiple peices of land together, rather than separate, how would you take this into account?
Kind of interested? Look to wikipedia to start. Game Theory