A characterization of Von Neumann games in terms of memory

Synthese 139 (2):281 - 295 (2004)
Abstract
An information completion of an extensive game is obtained by extending the information partition of every player from the set of her decision nodes to the set of all nodes. The extended partition satisfies Memory of Past Knowledge (MPK) if at any node a player remembers what she knew at earlier nodes. It is shown that MPK can be satisfied in a game if and only if the game is von Neumann (vN) and satisfies memory at decision nodes (the restriction of MPK to a player's own decision nodes). A game is vN if any two decision nodes that belong to the same information set of a player have the same number of predecessors. By providing an axiom for MPK we also obtain a syntactic characterization of the said class of vN games.
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