Monday, June 29, 2009

study war no more

The model starts by assuming that everyone cares about two dimensions on any policy issue: getting an outcome as close to what they want as possible, and getting credit for being essential in putting a deal together -- or preventing a deal.

The model estimates the way in which individual decision-makers trade off between credit and policy outcomes. Some are prepared to go down in a blaze of glory seeking the outcome they want, knowing they will lose. Others have their finger in the wind, trying to figure out what position is likely to win and then attach themselves to that position in the hope of getting credit for promoting the final agreement.

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, the Julius Silver Professor of Politics at New York University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, explaining the computer model he's created, based on game theory, that can predict the outcomes of international conflicts. His interview with Sara Forrest appears in the 22 June issue of Computer World.

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