Technische Universität München Robotics and Embedded Systems

Proseminar Game Theory (SS 2010)

Veranstalter Dipl.-Inf. Thomas Rückstieß
Modul IN0013
Typ Proseminar
Semester SS 2010
ECTS 4.0
Sprache Englisch / Deutsch
Vorbesprechung Di 09. Februar 2010 16:45 MI 03.07.023
Zeit & Ort Dienstags 17:00-18:00 Uhr MI 03.07.023
Schein erfolgreiche Teilnahme am Seminar


The seminar starts on Tuesday, May 11 at 17:00 and will then take place every Tuesday. Please make sure you have your presentation ready and schedule an appointment with the supervisor a week before your presentation.


Game Theory is a branch of applied mathematics (according to Wikipedia) which describes general strategies of interaction between several parties in predefined situations, often trying to find an optimal behaviour. Its applications can be found in numerous fields, like economics, biology, politics, computer science and philosophy. While the above definition sounds very dry, game theory is exciting and -- as the name suggests -- deals with games, playing, strategies, learning and bluffs.

In this seminar, we will cover both the classical game theory topics (zero-sum / non-zero sum games, nash equilibrium, minimax algorithm, ...) and some other, game-related topics (altruism, chess computers, back-gammon playing, reinforcement learning, ...).

In addition to learning something about Game Theory, this proseminar also aims to teaching you something about literature research, presentation skills, slide design, and leading a discussion.


No. Title Presenter Date
1 Game Theory: Introduction and Applications Matteo Harutunian May 11, 2010
2 The MiniMax algorithm and zero-sum games Jan Kucera May 11, 2010
3 How machines play chess Agi Josandra May 18, 2010
4 The Prisoners' Dilemma and other non-zero-sum games Fabian Petter May 18, 2010
5 The Golden Rule and the Categorical Imperative Ludwig Schubert June 1, 2010
6 Altruism and cooperation through evolution Stefan Bartels June 1, 2010
7 Nash Equilibrium and Game Theory in economy Thomas Kinnen June 8, 2010
8 The world's best Back-Gammon player Moritz Fuchs June 8, 2010


Each student prepares one topic, usually based on a single paper or book chapter (although other sources should be used for background reading). Finding the right literature and resources is also a part of the exercise. The presentation should be about 30 minutes followed by 5 to 10 minutes for questions and discussion. Besides the official presentation, we will also talk about presentation style and slide design.

We will have two presentations each day, so students will be paired up in groups of two. While each student presents their own topic, the other member of the group will introduce the speaker and lead the discussion session at the end of the talk.


The presenter will give his talk to the whole group, not just the instructors. Guests, who are not joining the seminar but are interested in the topics, are welcome, too. So bring your friends and fans as well. This is a good opportunity to practice your presentation skills in front of a larger audience.


You also must write a summary of your talk. It should be about 10 pages. Hand it in by the end of the semester (but better finish your summary before you give your talk, because trying to write things down in your own words will help you realize which parts of the paper(s) are important). We will make the written summaries available to all participants.


In order to get the credits (ECTS/Schein), you must give a presentation, write a summary and attend the seminar meetings (occasional exceptions to the last requirement can be made on an individual basis). The seminar is worth 4 credits (ECTS) or 2 SWS.

Background Material

There are many text books and sources out there, that deal with Game Theory, too many to name them here. Please make use of these resources for your presentation. For this seminar, we will cover some of the chapters of a nice little book called "Die Logik der Unvernunft -- Spieltheorie und die Psychologie des Handelns" by Laszlo Merö. It is a non-scientific book which is easy to read and has some nice examples.


If you have any questions regarding this proseminar, send an email to Thomas.