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Rendezvous Search Games

  1. Steve Alpern

Published Online: 15 FEB 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470400531.eorms0720

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

How to Cite

Alpern, S. 2011. Rendezvous Search Games. Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science. .

Author Information

  1. London School of Economics, Department of Mathematics, London, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 FEB 2011

Abstract

Rendezvous search studies the problem faced by a number of people (or animals or robots) who are trying to find each other after becoming separated (perhaps by a storm) or on reaching a large meeting area independently. Formally, it is a common-interest game where two (or more) unit speed players seek to minimize the time taken to meet. The game begins with a known (sometimes, an unknown) joint distribution of the players in a known search region Q, which is dark (so the players cannot see each other until they are sufficiently close). Although originally proposed by the author in 1976, these problems did not receive much attention until the 1990s. However, much progress has been made in the last 20 years. These games can be viewed as search game extensions of the spatial coordination problems posed by Schelling in 1960. But where Schelling was concerned with “focal points,” the rendezvous theory typically avoids these by assuming symmetrical search regions.

Keywords:

  • search game;
  • coordination problem;
  • rendezvous