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date: 15 December 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Optimality models seeks to specify which strategy of a strategy set is optimal under constraints. Broadly speaking, it takes two forms. Optimisation models are used to predict outcomes when individuals ‘play’ in the face of fixed constraints. An example is modelling the optimal number of offspring to produce in light of constraints on the overall amount of investment given to all offspring and the effect of investment on an offspring's probability of surviving. Second, game theoretical models are required to model outcomes when two or more players each attempt to optimize their outcomes is response to what the other players do. In a mating market, for instance, each individual competes against others of the same sex and in response to preferences of the other sex — the precise nature of which, in turn, may depend on what members of the first sex do to ‘please’ their preferences.

Keywords: optimality models, strategy, fixed constraints, outcomes, offspring, investment, game theoretical models, sex

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