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Behavioral Mathematics for Game AI by Dave Mark

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Our Utility of Utility

What we have covered in this chapter is what amounts to a core building block of decision making. It is the measuring stick with which we determine how important the different sides of a problem are to us. In the Prisoner’s Dilemma, this was the length of time in jail. In Cutting the Cake, our utility for cake was what made us want to make sure we got the biggest piece possible.

In the Ultimatum, Dictator, and Trust Games, utility was measured in terms of money—and yet there a few other things sneaking into the equation... Guilt? Fear? Altruism? These factors prevented us from electing to purely maximize our utility for money. In the Pirate Game, money was certainly a factor, but fear was definitely on our minds. We wanted ...

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