Darrell Velegol (Penn State University)
Abstract. Sustainability problems (e.g., climate change, or the food-energy-water nexus) often involve "tragedy of the commons" (TOC) challenges. TOC challenges are often modeled in game theory using Prisoner's Dilemma (PD) games and other games. However, classical solutions to game theory problems – here called “Nashian games” – have a number of shortcomings, and do not always conform to experimental data. In this talk we treat choices as metaphorical reactive molecules, and we treat strategic games as a set of chemical reactions. Thus, this model provides new solutions to classical games. By using the usual Gibbsian approach to chemical reaction equilibrium, we are able to employ entropic considerations and minimize a type of Gibbs free energy to find game theory equilibria, overcoming the usual shortcomings in game theory. We also address the concept of "unit operations" for creativity and evaluation, treating these operations as distinct processes, and show how the order of operations affects the outcome of decisions. Finally, we assess "flavors" of intentions, from altruistic, to global, to self-interested, to vengeful. Each of these concepts is connected to solutions to the PD game and the TOC problem.