Since 1999 game theorists worldwide are organized in the Game Theory Society, which holds a World Congress every four years to promote the investigation, teaching, and application of game theory. The next meeting will be in 2020 in Budapest. Furthermore, there are two other worldwide important conferences on game theory, which take place on annual basis: The Stony Brook International Conference on Game Theory in the United States of America and the European Meeting on Game Theory (SING), being the most import conference in Europe.
The history of the SING conferences dates back to 1983 with the first 13 meetings being held in Italy. Since 2001, when Spanish scholars got involved in the organization, the conferences take place on regular annual base. The acronym SING was introduced in 2005 when scholars from the Netherlands joined. Today the conference series is called the ”European Meeting on Game Theory” after in 2014 scholars from Poland got involved in the organization of a SING meeting for the second time. However, it was decided to keep also the acronym SING. Hence, SING14 in 2018 is the 14th European Meeting on Game Theory since the acronym SING got introduced and the 27th meeting since the first meeting in Italy. It will be the first time ever that ”The European Meeting on Game Theory” will take place in Germany.
As usual for the SlNG conference also the SING14 conference programme will consist of small number invited lectures by highly distinguished scholars in the field and a larger number of contributed papers, which are selected among all applications by a scientific committee of established researchers in the field to ensure a high scientific standard of the papers presented at the conference (see below). However, also contributions from Ph.D. students and researchers being at the beginning of their career are explicitly invited and a Best Paper Prize is awarded. Even SING is the European Meeting on Game Theory, participants from all over the world attend the conference on a regular basis. The language of the meeting is English.
The organizers welcome contributions from all areas of game theory, including, but not limited to:
- Cooperative games and their applications
- Mechanism design
- Dynamic games
- Evolutionary games
- Stochastic games
- Voting and power indices
- Learning and experimentation in games
- Computational game theory
Game theory is the term given to the methodology of using mathematical tools to model and analyze situations where decision-making is interactive, usually called ”strategic”. Hence, it is concerned with the choice of decision-makers, usually called ”players”, with different goals, where the decisions of each decision-maker may have an impact on the outcome for all decision-makers. This interactive nature distinguishes game theory from classical decision theory where a single decision-maker has to make a choice facing a ”passive” environment. Game theory aims to clarify the structure of interactive decision-making situations, to predict the behavior of decision-makers and to give advice to decision-makers in such situations. Since the fact that game theory is a theory that can be characterized as a context-free mathematical toolbox, it can be applied in any situation of interactive decision-making.
The foundations of modern game theory go back to the book ”The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior”, published in 1944 by the mathematician John von Neumann and the economist Oskar Morgenstern. Since then the theory has been developed extensively. Today has applications in a wide range of fields such as economic theory, network theory, political science, military, law, computer science, biology, sociology, anthropology, psychology, and philosophy.
From a methodological point of view game theory is inherently tied to mathematics as the game theory makes use of a variety of mathematical tools. The analysis of some game-theoretic models even required the development of new mathematical tools.
The field of game theory can be divided into three board sub-fields: non-cooperative game theory, dealing with so-called strategic games, which assume the non-existence of binding agreements, cooperative game theory dealing with so-called bargaining games, which allow for binding agreements, and evolutionary game theory. The non-cooperative game theory is basically concerned with decision-makers acting independently from each other and with each decision-maker trying to achieve its most desirable outcome. This also holds for cooperative game theory, but with the already mentioned difference that it is assumed that decision-makers can sign binding agreements, i.e., agreement, which are enforceable. However, in many cases, interactive decision-making problems requires a modeling, which makes use of both sub-fields of game theory. Finally, evolutionary game theory, which is a newer sub-flied of game theory, which has its origins in biology. It deals with the development of populations. It defines a framework of contests, strategies, and analytics into which Darwinian competition can be modeled. The evolutionary game theory differs from the other two sub-fields, known as ”classical game theory”, in focusing more on the dynamics of strategy change. However, it also found its way to other applications such as the development of technical norms and standards.
Today, game theory as an important tool in many fields is widely recognized. Since 1994 eleven game-theorists won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences: John Forbes Nash Jr., John Harsanyi, Reinhard Selten, William Vickrey, Robert Aumann, Thomas Schelling Alvin Roth, Lloyd S. Shapley, Eric S. Maskin, Roger B. Myerson, and Jean Tirole. Moreover, John Maynard Smith was awarded the Crafoord Prize for his application of game theory to biology. In the past, some of these have attended the SING meetings.
The history of SING dates back to the beginning of the 1980s with the first meetings held in Italy. Then, subsequently, meetings were added in Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, France, Hungary, Russia, and Denmark. After the first meeting in Germany in 2018, in 2019 first meeting will be hosted in Finland.
The first time the Italian researchers joined together for a meeting on Game Theory was due to the initiative of the mathematician Gianfranco Gambarelli and the economist Michele Grillo. On the 12th October 1983, a working day was held in Bergamo entitled: ”A discussion between economists and mathematicians: recent contributions of Game Theory to Economics”. One year later, Pierangelo Mori and Fioravante Patrone organized in Pavia (December 14 and 15) the first meeting under the name that would last for a long time: ”Convegno di Teoria dei Giochi ed Applicazioni”, called the ”second meeting” to acknowledge the relevance of the ”working day” held in Bergamo the year before. From then on meetings took place almost annually with the name ”Convegno di Teoria dei Giochi ed Applicazioni”: Florence (1986, organised by Andrea Battinelli), again Bergamo (1987, Gianfranco Gambarelli), Cagliari (1988, Andrea Battinelli), Modena 1989 (Gianni Ricci), Florence (1991, Piero Tani), Pisa (1992, Giacomo Costa), Genoa (1993, Fausto Mignanego and Fioravante Patrone), Siena (1995, Stefano Vannucci), Bergamo (1996, Gianfranco Gambarelli), Milan (1997, Michele Polo and Mario Gilli), Genoa (1998, Fioravante Patrone) and Bologna (1999, Elettra Agliardi). After this date, the conferences began to form part of the joint venture described later.
The first Spanish Meeting on Game Theory was organised in 1994 in Bilbao by Federico Valenciano and Jose Zarzuelo. This was followed by meetings in Santiago de Compostela (1996, organised by Ignacio García Jurado), Barcelona (1998, Carles Rafels) and Valencia (2000, Amparo Urbano). During the world meeting on Game Theory Society, organised in 2000 in Bilbao by Federico Valenciano, the idea arose of a joint venture that will be discussed later.
There is no tradition of organising Dutch Game Theory conferences. Before the SING joint venture, only periodic seminars and impromptu conferences were held. As far as seminars are concerned, monthly ones were organised by Stef Tijs in Nijmegen at the beginning of the 1980s; others followed in Tilburg under the responsibility of Peter Borm. Again in Tilburg, a monthly seminar has been held since the mid-1980s on the closely related area of social choice organised by Ton Storcken, Ad van Deemen, and Harrie de Swart. Several workshops on cooperative game theory have been organised by Gerard van der Laan and René van den Brink in Amsterdam and by Theo Driessen in Enschede.
Regarding conferences, in 1996 the Third International Meeting of the Society for Social Choice and Welfare was organised in Maastricht by Hans Peters and Ton Storcken. In 1998, the 8th International Symposium on Dynamic Games and Applications was organised in Maastricht-Va by Frank Thuijsman and Koos Vrieze. The first conference on Logic, Game Theory and Social Choice (LGS1) was organised in Tilburg-Oisterwijk by Harrie de Swart in 1999. In 2002, Peter Borm c.s. organised a Game Theory conference on the occasion of Stef Tijs’ 65th birthday in Tilburg.
While some of the pioneering works in Game Theory are due to Polish mathematicians such as Hugo Steinhaus and Jan Mycielski, no national meeting on this area was ever established in Poland. Since the 1970s the groups working on Game Theory and related topics in Warsaw and Wrocław held regular seminars that used to be rather interdisciplinary. In 2004 Andrzej Wieczorek organised an international conference in Game Theory and mathematical economics in Warzaw, and in 2008 the 13th International Symposium of Dynamic Games was organised by Andrzej Nowak in Wrocław just after SING4.
France has a long tradition of research in Game Theory that goes back to the 19th century with the seminal works of Antoine Augustin Cournot on the duopoly solution, that is a restricted version of the Nash equilibrium and, later in the first half of the 20th century, with the 1938 book of Émile Borel ”Applications aux Jeux de Hasard” and earlier notes, where he proved a minimax theorem for two-person zero-sum matrix games for a symmetric payoff matrix. Since the immediate years after the second world war, Game Theory has represented one of the most prominent research fields in mathematics and economics in France, and nowadays also involves several research teams in computer science and artificial intelligence across the country. Two SING conferences were organized in France so far, both in Paris. The first one (SING7) was organized in 2011 by Michel Grabisch and Agnieszka Rusinowska. The second SING conference in France (SING13) was organized by Stefano Moretti in 2017. There exist many French communities working on Game Theory, both on cooperative and non-cooperative games, and several of them participate very actively and regularly in SING conferences, e.g., Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne – CES (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), LAMSADE (Université Paris-Dauphine) and GATE Saint Etienne (Université Jean Monnet). Every year these groups organize scientific meetings on game theory and related topics. In particular, since 2007 Michel Grabisch organizes annual OSGAD (Ordered Structures in Games and Decisions) workshops at CES, usually in November. Moreover, two French CNRS laboratories, CES and Aix-Marseille School of Economics are institutional members of the CTN (Coalition Theory Network) and have organized several annual CTN workshops (Marseille / Aix-en-Provence – 1999, 2003, 2010, 2019; Paris – 2005 and 2012).
SING: the joint venture
In 2000 Federico Valenciano organized in Bilbao GAMES 2000, the first Meeting of the Game Theory Society. During this conference, Fioravante Patrone, director of the Italian CITG, took the initiative of looking for a ”joint venture” between Italy and Spain, suggesting the alternation of Italian and Spanish meetings. The agreement of this idea by the involved researchers lead to the meetings of Ischia (2001), Sevilla (2002), Urbino (2003) and Elche (2004).
During the Meeting of Urbino the idea of The Netherlands as a ”new entry” into the Italian-Spanish alternation, proposed by Patrone, was eagerly approved. The first edition of SING (Spanish-Italian-Netherlands Game Theory Meeting) was organized by Hans Peters in Maastricht from 24 to 26 June 2005. Andrea di Liddo organized the second edition, SING2, in Foggia. Juan Tejada organized SING3 in Madrid in 2007. It was then agreed that other European countries wishing to enter the rota had to participate first as guest organisers and only after a second participation in this role could they then actually join SING. In 2008 the conference was organized outside one of the three SING countries for the first time: Jacek Mercik organized SING4 in Wroclaw. In 2009 SING5 was held in Amsterdam, organized by René van der Brink. In 2010 SING6 has been organized in Palermo by Dario Bauso. The following two years the conference is again outside the SING countries: in 2011 Michel Grabisch organized SING7 in Paris; in 2012 László Á. Kóczy organized SING8 in Budapest. SING9 was organized respectively in Vigo in 2013 by Gustavo Bergantiños.
Poland was the guest organiser for the second time in 2014 (Kraków, organized by Izabella Stach) for SING10 and Poland became an actual member of SING. In 2014, a decision has been made not to change the acronym, in view of the fact that it has become well-known, but to transform the name of the meetings from 2015 on to ”SING – European Meeting on Game Theory”. In 2015, the SING11 Meeting taken place in St. Petersburg, organised by Leon Petrosyan. The 2015 edition (SING11) also involved the 9th International Conference on Game Theory and Management (GTM2015). The 2016 edition (SING12) took place in Odense, Denmark, organized by Peter Sudhölter. In 2017 SING returned to France: at Paris Dauphine Stefano Moretti organized SING13 and France became a SING member. In 2018 SING took place in Germany: SING14 was organized in Bayreuth by Frank Steffen.
In 2019, for the first time, SING will take place in Finland. SING15 will be organized by Hannu Salonen in Turku. In 2020, SING 16 will take place in Reggio Calabria organized by Massimiliano Ferrara.
|2001||Italy/Spain 1||Ischia||Jacqueline Morgan|
|2002||Italy/Spain 2||Sevilla||Jesús Mario Bilbao, Francisco Fernández|
|2003||Italy/Spain 3||Urbino||Gian Italo Bischi|
|2004||Italy/Spain 4||Elche||Joaquín Sánchez Soriano|
|2005||SING 1||Maastricht||Hans Peters|
|2006||SING 2||Foggia||Andrea Di Liddo|
|2007||SING 3||Madrid||Juan Tejada|
|2008||SING 4||Wrocław||Jacek Mercik|
|2009||SING 5||Amsterdam||René van den Brink|
|2010||SING 6||Palermo||Dario Bauso|
|2011||SING 7||Paris||Michel Grabish|
|2012||SING 8||Budapest||László Kóczy|
|2013||SING 9||Vigo||Gustavo Bergantiños|
|2014||SING 10||Kraków||Izabella Stach|
|2015||SING 11||St. Petersburg||Leon Petrosyan|
|2016||SING 12||Odense||Peter Sudhölter|
|2017||SING 13||Paris||Stefano Moretti|
|2018||SING 14||Bayreuth||Frank Steffen|
|2019||SING 15||Turku||Hannu Salonen|
|2020||SING 16||Reggio Calabria||Massimiliano Ferrara|