Measuring tree complexity with response times
65 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2019 Last revised: 18 Apr 2022
Date Written: May 25, 2020
Game-theoretic trees vary in complexity. This paper introduces the concept of graph-based complexity and relies on the subjects’ behavior to empirically derive a measure of tree complexity. Data comes from the mobile app Blues and Reds, designed speciﬁcally to conduct experiments. The sample consists of 6,637 subjects from 143 countries who play 27 diﬀerent dynamic games. Based on subjects’ response times, we ﬁnd that two measures – the average response time spent at the ﬁrst round and the average total time spent solving the tree – are the best candidates for the empirical measure of tree complexity. We focus on two-person, ﬁnite, zero-sum dynamic games with perfect and complete information.
Keywords: tree, complexity, backward induction, experimental game theory, mobile experiment
JEL Classification: C72, C73, C80, C90
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