Project AXLRD: Experiential Learning in Game Theory

What is Project AXLRD?

Project AXLRD is a web-based educational application which teaches students about strategies and beliefs in repeated games, including the evolution of cooperation and the important role of beliefs. This application uses a “snap-together” user interface which allows students with no programming experience to develop complex interactive strategies, then play them against other students in a re-creation of Robert Axelrod’s famous repeated games tournament. This tool encourages experimentation and engagement in the Kolb cycle of experiential learning, creating a more concrete and authentic understanding of a complex theoretical area of applied game theory. We have also developed a series of teaching and learning aides to support instructors using the Project AXLRD tool, including (i) lesson plans, (ii) lecture slides, and (iii) assessments

The project AXLRD tool encourage experimentation and deep learning regarding strategies and behaviour in repeated games. It also provides rich feedback to students, encourage iterative development and complex strategic interaction. Large majorities of students have reported in surveys that Project AXLRD is (a) easy to use, (b) makes understanding repeated games easier, and (c) makes learning about repeated games more fun and engaging.

Project AXLRD was developed as part of a UBC Small TLEF project, with PI’s Rik Blok and Jonathan Graves; we particularly thank all of the UBC undergraduates who have participated in the project as developers, research assistants, or simply just students learning about games and giving us feedback.

If you are interested in getting access to the most recent build of Project AXLRD or integrating it into your, please contact the maintainers.

We are also planning an Open Source release of the project code in the future!

Learning Materials

You can find here a selection of the learning materials we have developed to teach Project AXLRD here.

If you would like LaTeX versions of these, please let us know!

Publications and Presentations

  • “Interactive Simulations without Programming: Experiential Learning in Game Theory.” EL Market, CTLT Spring Institute, UBC-V, May 2019. (link)
  • “Experiential Learning in Game Theory.” 2021 TLEF Virtual Showcase, Celebrate Learning Week, UBC-V, May 2021.

(Last updated: 30-04-2021)