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Math Trek

Mathematical Fortune-Telling

How well can game theory solve business and political disputes?

By
9:12am, October 24, 2007

Predicting the future is not very hard, according to Bruce Bueno de Mesquita: a little mathematics is all you need. Figuring out how to manipulate a situation to achieve specific aims is a bit less straightforward, but Bueno de Mesquita says his mathematical tools can usually do that, too.

The New York University political science professor has developed a computerized game theory model that predicts the future of many business and political negotiations and also figures out ways to influence the outcome. Two independent evaluations, one by academics and one by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, have both shown that about 90 percent of his predictions have

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