© 2014

Two-Person Zero-Sum Games


Part of the International Series in Operations Research & Management Science book series (ISOR, volume 201)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Alan Washburn
    Pages 1-4
  3. Alan Washburn
    Pages 5-13
  4. Alan Washburn
    Pages 15-45
  5. Alan Washburn
    Pages 47-81
  6. Alan Washburn
    Pages 83-106
  7. Alan Washburn
    Pages 107-122
  8. Alan Washburn
    Pages 123-141
  9. Alan Washburn
    Pages 143-158
  10. Alan Washburn
    Pages 159-173
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 175-199

About this book


Two-person zero-sum game theory deals with situations that are perfectly competitive—there are exactly two decision makers for whom there is no possibility of cooperation or compromise. It is the most fundamental part of game theory, and the part most commonly applied. There are diverse applications to military battles, sports, parlor games, economics and politics. The theory was born in World War II, and has by now matured into a significant and tractable body of knowledge about competitive decision making. The advent of modern, powerful computers has enabled the solution of many games that were once beyond computational reach.

Two-Person Zero-Sum Games, 4th Ed. offers an up-to-date introduction to the subject, especially its computational aspects. Any finite game can be solved by the brute force method of enumerating all possible strategies and then applying linear programming. The trouble is that many interesting games have far too many strategies to enumerate, even with the aid of computers. After introducing ideas, terminology, and the brute force method in the initial chapters, the rest of the book is devoted to classes of games that can be solved without enumerating every strategy. Numerous examples are given, as well as an extensive set of exercises. Many of the exercises are keyed to sheets of an included Excel workbook that can be freely downloaded from the SpringerExtras website. This new edition can be used as either a reference book or as a textbook.


Competition Game Theory Markov Games Max-min Minimax TPZS Games

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Operations Research DepartmentNaval Postgraduate SchoolMontereyUSA

Bibliographic information

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From the reviews of the fourth edition:

“An excellent and properly expansive look at TPZS games, this book is a suitable textbook for classes in game theory. There are exercises at the end of the chapters with solutions to all included in an appendix” (Charles Ashbacher, MAA Reviews, March, 2014)