I'm analyzing the prisoner's dilemma and want to reproduce Axelrod's historic computer tournaments (Robert Axelrod, "Effective Choice in the prisoner's dilemma", Journal of conflict resolution).

Does anyone know if the original source code or algorithms are available?

Axelrod does describe the entered programs in his paper, but I would rather not rewrite them based on the descriptions which might introduce wrong assumptions (and waste effort :).

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    $\begingroup$ It seems unlikely anybody here would be able to provide the source, unless Axelrod reads here. :) In any event, the paper is not what one would traditionally call mathematics, since it is entirely experimental. Game theory is definitely mathematical, but not all game theory is mathematics, just as not all economics or physics is mathematics. A fascinating paper, however. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Andrews Aug 11 '13 at 16:13
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    $\begingroup$ Have you thought about emailing Axelrod and asking if the code is published anywhere? $\endgroup$ – Dan Rust Aug 11 '13 at 16:14
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    $\begingroup$ Eckhart Arnold programmed a platform to run those iterated prisoner's dilemma tournaments, and it includes most strategies mentioned in the book (but these were, as far as I know, also just programmed after the verbal descriptions). See eckhartarnold.de/apppages/coopsim.html $\endgroup$ – Nameless Aug 11 '13 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Thomas yes indeed not traditional mathematics. It is, a dynamical system though. $\endgroup$ – Edward Newell Aug 12 '13 at 22:09
  • $\begingroup$ @ Daniel: absolutely :) although he has probably replied to thousands of such mails over the past 30 years. If the internet doesn't know the source code though, this is what I'll do. $\endgroup$ – Edward Newell Aug 12 '13 at 22:11

The link provided on Robert Axelrod's homepage is broken. But he has provided me with the following link.


Source code is unfortunately / obviously in Fortran. Hopefully this helps. If I ever get around to translating this into python I'll be sure to post here.

  • $\begingroup$ There are free Fortran compilers around so using the code as is shouldn't be too hard. $\endgroup$ – lhf Sep 26 '13 at 14:31

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