Tit for tat

Overview

**Tit for tat**is an English saying meaning "equivalent retaliation". It is also a highly effective strategy in game theory

Game theory

Game theory is a mathematical method for analyzing calculated circumstances, such as in games, where a person’s success is based upon the choices of others...

for the iterated prisoner's dilemma. It was first introduced by Anatol Rapoport

Anatol Rapoport

Anatol Rapoport was a Russian-born American Jewish mathematical psychologist. He contributed to general systems theory, mathematical biology and to the mathematical modeling of social interaction and stochastic models of contagion.-Biography:...

in Robert Axelrod

Robert Axelrod

Robert M. Axelrod is an American political scientist. He is Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Michigan where he has been since 1974. He is best known for his interdisciplinary work on the evolution of cooperation, which has been cited in numerous articles...

's two tournaments, held around 1980. An agent

Agent (grammar)

In linguistics, a grammatical agent is the cause or initiator of an event. Agent is the name of the thematic role...

using this strategy will initially cooperate, then respond in kind to an opponent's previous action. If the opponent previously was cooperative, the agent is cooperative.