Why it made "economic" sense to throw away the match: a game theory perspective

Discussion in 'Olympics LONDON 2012' started by Capnx, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. Capnx

    Capnx Regular Member

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    most people are familiar with the game theory "prisoner's dilemma" but probably not with the "Chicken game" game theory. Basically it's two people playing a game of "chicken": driving their cars towards eachother and see who would swirl first. whoever swirls first loses, and the person who doesn't swirl wins. If both people swirl, both people live but it's a tie so no one wins (0,0). If one person swirls, that person loses (-5) and the other wins (+5). Of course if neither swirls, then they crash and both die which is a (-10, -10). There're different version of the points system but the general gist is there: If both people play to win, they would each individually choose to NOT swirl which would lead them to crash and both die.


    now looking at this women's group round robin scenario:
    if neither of the teams throw their games, they will waste a lot of energy but will definitely not be thrown out and BOTH will go on to the next round. BUT if one team throws the game and the other doesn't, that team will get a better draw. so what ends up happening: acting on what's best for each individual, BOTH teams tries to throw the game --> both gets disqualified.

    There is a major assumption here and it's that if only ONE team tries to throw the game, win or lose that team will not be disqualified. Given that the organizers have not been actively punishing or disqualifying players in the past, I think this is a reasonable assumption.

    So how could this have been prevented? AVOID the zero sum scenario which in this case would've been to change the format to avoid "losing" to gain advantages in subsequent games.

    Of course there's the whole "sportsmanship" stuff... but when the goal is to win a medal (and to keep ur job), you can see how economic plays a key role.
     
  2. hcyong

    hcyong Regular Member

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    If they want to keep the group format, so be it. But only let the top player/pair in the group go through to the knockout rounds (so effectively, no one will want to lose a single match in the group).
     
  3. twobeer

    twobeer Regular Member

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    Very good points.

    /T
     
  4. sugianto

    sugianto New Member

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    In the end it comes to either blame the system or people.
    Blame the system means that we need an engineer to fix it. Blame the people means that we need every part to be more responsible. Personally I favor the latter because the player here is an athlete which should uphold sportsmanship. It will be different if the case is government or bank.
    I still believe in people, in human trait and action which is the main part of human-centered approach instead of system-centered ones. The fact that a lot of people blamed BWF for the "hole" makes me feel that we no longer have trust in human, that they won't exploit it in the name of Olympic spirit. Where are athlete like Lawrence Lemieux etc when you need them the most?
     
  5. habsq

    habsq Regular Member

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    It is always two-sided. However, I believe that fixing a system is much easier than asking for every single players in the world to be perfectly unselfish and always think of badminton in a global picture instead of trying to have the glory for themselves...
     
  6. habsq

    habsq Regular Member

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    *double posts*
     
    #6 habsq, Aug 2, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  7. thunder.tw

    thunder.tw Regular Member

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    Man I hate multithreads on a topic. Your game theory analysis is missing one important parameter. Or rather your assumption a DQ is off the table is a faulty one. In the course of playing out your decision to lose, you are given a very strong warning that getting DQ'd if you continue your course. So at that point is your desire to not face your countrymen stronger than your desire for a medal? You guys keep forgetting they were were explicitly warned a DQ was a strong possibility yet they chose to continue down their path.
     
  8. Capnx

    Capnx Regular Member

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    yes, but given that it's still just a possibility both teams continued their path down to the final DQ. game theories doesn't take ethics into consideration or what is right or wrong, only "what would a rational independent person do to maximize his/her benefits".

    Yes the players were warned, but how "realistic/believable" did the perceived disqualification seem to the players? And if only ONE team tried to throw the game and the other team didn't try and played their hardest, would the committee still have DQ'd the team that threw the game? Each team was waiting for the other team to stop this game-throwing, but the result is both teams end up in the worst case scenario.

    It's the same thing as in the Chicken game, even if you warn both individuals of the outcome - you will both die if you do not stop - it is still in their best interest to continue the game and try to win.
     
  9. thunder.tw

    thunder.tw Regular Member

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    Man some people work way too hard to defend a faulty analogy.

    No it wasn't just a possibility it was a very strong likely hood. The DQ was given and the withdrawn on the promise of fair play. At that point it is very real and ignoring it was the height of arrogance and stupidity.

    I'll grant this but in the Koreans case they didn't act rationally. They should have let the farce go on for the first game and then go all out in the second game and then file a protest. That they choose to play along with this farce points to the bigger issue of severe problems in professional badminton but those issues do not excuse the players here.

    The chicken game is a terrible example there is no real reward for winning the game. Saying that it is in the participants best interest to continue is foolish. In the case of the Chicken game it is in the best interest for the participants to both quit.
     
  10. Tadashi

    Tadashi Regular Member

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    It's the Stag Hunt

    I'm not convinced that this is a Chicken game.

    ---

    Technically speaking,

    the pref. orders for the players would have been TRSP and the result would require one team to play honest, while the other team cheats (a CD, DC Nash equilibrium).

    That has not been the game logic: I think, it's technically a Stag Hunt preference order of RTSP -- reward, temptation, sucker and punishment. You either play honest (DD) or you better cheat (CC).

    ---

    I think it's the Stag Hunt.
     
  11. Tadashi

    Tadashi Regular Member

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  12. Wildstone

    Wildstone Regular Member

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    I haven't follwed the news from the beginning, so can anyone simply tell me why:

    1) CHN VS KOR and both trying to lose.
    2) After knowing the results from 1), why KOR VS INA and both trying to lose.

    Thanks.
     
  13. dimcorner

    dimcorner Regular Member

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    question,

    What if the knock out draw was randomized after group play was finished?
    Meaning they do a random draw at the end to see who group A plays against. You now would not know who you are going to play your opponents (well, 1 in 3 chance) in the same side of the knockout round draw so your best bet would be to be on top of your own group that way you can avoid the overall the best players until the end.

    Either way, they just SUCKED at making it somewhat believable.
     
  14. 2cents

    2cents Regular Member

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    Let's assume A/a, B/b, C/c, D/d 4 pairs in group 1; after 2 rounds, A/a won 2 matches by 2:0 against B/b and C/c. B/b won 2:1 against D/d, and C/c won 2:1 against D/d. Here are the standing after 2 rounds.

    A/a: 2 wins, with 4 net sets A/a: B/b: 21-19, 23-21; A/a vs C/c: 22:20, 22:20
    B/b: 1 win, wth -1 net sets: B/b vs D/d: 21-19, 5-21, 25-23
    C/c: 1 win, wth -1 net sets: C/c vs D/d: 9-21; 21-19, 23-21
    D/d: 0 win, with -2 net sets, but from the score, D/d won more points against B and C.

    Even A/a's top standing, in fact, all 4 pairs are equally good. It's not easy for any pair to beat the other easily.

    the final round, A/a vs D/d, B/b vs C/c, only the top standing pair advances.

    It's clear no matther what the final round results, A/a will be the top in standing.

    so the A/a vs D/d on 9:00 am in the morning. But A has to play with male X in mixed double at 11:00 am.

    So does A need to fight all efforts to win the final round? which may at the cost losing the mixed double in 2 hours.
     
  15. Wildstone

    Wildstone Regular Member

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    Might not have to, but at least not to blatantly throw the final round, they could play passively and not aggressively. It's just like LCW VS LD in the second game, LCW didn't really play to his best effort as a result of a huge lead from LD. Should he get disqualified straight away?
     

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