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Ecological RationalityIntelligence in the World$
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Peter M. Todd and Gerd Gigerenzer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195315448

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195315448.001.0001

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Car Parking as a Game Between Simple Heuristics

Car Parking as a Game Between Simple Heuristics

Chapter:
18 Car Parking as a Game Between Simple Heuristics
Source:
Ecological Rationality
Author(s):

John M. C. Hutchinson

Carola Fanselow

Peter M. Todd

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195315448.003.0133

Selecting a parking space is a sequential-search problem, with the pattern of spaces available to search determined by where others have parked. Earlier optimality models of parking ignored this game-theoretic aspect, unrealistically assuming random occurrences of spaces. This chapter instead simulates populations of cars: Agents (drivers) may accept any unoccupied space as they proceed down a dead-end street toward the destination; otherwise they take the first as they drive back out. Several simple decision heuristics are considered and Nash equilibria found with parameter values that are sensitive to conditions and performance criteria. An evolutionary algorithm is used to implement a competition between the heuristics. The winning heuristic exploits emergent environment structure: Because adjacent sites often fill sequentially, they empty at similar times, so spaces that drivers have recently encountered predict more spaces ahead. High car densities arising far from the destination also leads this heuristic to reject spaces until within a fixed distance of the destination.

Keywords:   sequential search, evolutionary algorithm, parking problem, game theory, ESS, social environment, environment structure, fixed threshold rule, successive noncandidate count rule, linear operator

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