The Big Match with a Clock and a Bit of Memory

Kristoffer Arnsfelt Hansen*, Rasmus Ibsen-Jensen, Abraham Neyman

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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The Big Match is a multistage two-player game. In each stage, player 1 hides one or two pebbles in his hand, and his opponent has to guess that number. Player 1 loses a point if player 2 is correct; otherwise, he wins a point. As soon as player 1 hides one pebble, the players cannot change their choices in any future stage. The undiscounted Big Match has been much-studied. Blackwell and Ferguson (1968) give an ε-optimal strategy for player 1 that hides, in each stage, one pebble with a probability that depends on the entire past history. Any strategy that depends on just the clock or just a finite memory is worthless (i.e., cannot guarantee strictly more than the least reward). The long-standing natural open problem has been whether every strategy that depends on just the clock and a finite memory is worthless. The present paper proves that there is such a strategy that is ε-optimal. In fact, we show that just two states of memory are sufficient.

TidsskriftMathematics of Operations Research
Sider (fra-til)419-432
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2023


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