A Study of Cooperation in Repeated Dynamic Games

  • Wael R. Al Enezi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


We study human behavior in dynamic stochastic games. These games model interactions between people and autonomous agents in sustainable systems, including smart cities, smart buildings and smart grids. In these interactions, it is critical that people and autonomous entities have the ability to establish cooperative relationships with each other. However, little is understood how cooperative relationships emerge in these dynamic scenarios. Thus, in this work, we evaluate how communication affects the ability of people to establish cooperative relationships with each other in dynamic repeated interactions. To do this, we performed a user study in which we evaluated the behavior and teaming strategies of 48 different participants in a modified version of the game Planet Wars. In our version of this game, teammates were required to interact with each other in a dynamic environment with limited resources. As part of this interaction, players communicated via predefined communication messages, which were varied by group. We analyzed and evaluated the strategies people use by participants in the game, and observed how communication between the players affected their interactions. While our results showed that communication had no statistically significant impact on the performance of the teams, we observed that communication did impact other forms of behavior. For example, we observed that communication impacted the willingness of people to share resources. We also analyzed strategies that led to successful and unsuccessful players and teams. These results help us to establish a basis for how an autonomous agent should act in dynamic stochastic games in order to form effective relationships with people.
Date of AwardDec 2016
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorJacob Crandall (Supervisor)


  • Dynamic Games
  • Smart Cities
  • Smart Grids
  • Sustainable Systems
  • Smart Buildings. Human Interaction & Communication.

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