hero working papers

Information Flows and Memory in Games

Number: 678
Year: 2021
Author(s): Pierpaolo Battigalli, Nicolò Generoso

We propose that the mathematical representation of situations of strategic interactions, i.e., of games, should separate the description of the rules of the game from the description of players’ personal traits. Yet, we note that the standard extensive-form partitional representation of information in sequential games does not comply with this separation principle. We offer an alternative representation that extends to all (finite) sequential games the approach adopted in the theory of repeated games with imperfect monitoring, that is, we describe the flow of information accruing to players rather than the stock of information retained by players, as encoded in information partitions. Mnemonic abilities can be represented independently of games. Assuming that players have perfect memory, our flow representation gives rise to information partitions satisfying perfect recall. Different combinations of rules about information flows and of players mnemonic abilities may give rise to the same information partition . All extensive-form representations with information partitions, including those featuring absentmindedness, can be generated by some such combinations.