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Supercomputing Challenge

Game Theory Applied to a Hostage Crisis

Team: 60


Area of Science: Mathematics

Interim: Initial Proposal:

Hostage situations are complex scenarios that involve many complicating factors. We intend to use the mathematical concept of game theory to help model a hypothetical hostage negotiation. The negotiation phase of a hostage situation is the most critical part of the over all situation. We will use game theory to model potential scenarios, decisions, and outcomes that are involved in a hostage crisis. We will then write C++ computer program that accurately models these theoretical concepts.

Progress to Date:

Initially, the project of chioce was "Game Theory Applied to Risk" Which was inteded to create a program which would acurately model the decision making processes for a Risk like scenario. This was to be applied in other situations; however, no innovative practical application was settled on and the project was dismissed. A considerable amount of research and planning was conducted in this area prior to the change of project direction. Plans of the construction process for the program and an understanding of the escence of the game had been accomplished.
Presently, formulation of the variables, research into the mathmatics of game theory applicable to this project, and general understanding of the computational processes nessasary have been learned. The progress has been small due in part to the restarting of our project.
The team started out the year with no programming experience, but our teacher, Steve Schum, has taught the team the basic programming skills needed for project including HTML and C++.

Expected Results:

In the end we expect to have a reasonably realistic, reliable, and complex program that models hostage negotiations. We hope to include variables that attempt to model the psychological and basic bargaining, negotiations, and actions that take place during a crisis. Since the program will be dealing with high amounts of probabability, we hope to have a large amount of data to work with. Through this data we will be able to analyze what stratagies work best to end a hostage negotiation as peacefully as possible.


1. "The Compleat Strategyst", by J.D. Williams

2. "Prisoner's Dilemma", by William Poundstone


4. Robert Cordwell's 2003-2004 AiSc Project; "Using
Adaptive Algorithms for Better Racing"


Paul Roensch

Steve Schum

Group Members:
Eric Benner
Steven Benner
Samuel Bonin
Anthony Rodriguez

Team Members:

  Eric Benner
  Anthony Rodriguez
  Steven Benner
  Samuel Bonin
  Haley McDuff

Sponsoring Teacher: Stephen Schum

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