Thesis of Sylvain Dufourny

Optimizing competitive economic decisions in a business game

Digital technologies are becoming increasingly popular in teaching and learning processes. New educational practices are also revolutionizing the standards of training. For example, the "gamification" of the curricula has become a current trend. It allows, through games, to exercise learners differently. Business management simulation, also known as business games, fall within this context. They place learners at the head of virtual companies and simulate a competitive market. The deployment of this practice nevertheless encounters some operational difficulties: size of the group, training of the teacher... It is in this context that we envisage the implementation of autonomous agents to accompany the learners or the competitors. To do this, firstly, we propose a modeling of a company, based on mixed linear programs allowing optimization of the internal departments of the companies (production, delivery, finance). For the second step, we will introduce a local heuristic search, ensuring a generation of efficient solutions in a given economic and competitive environment. Thirdly, following a knowledge extraction phase, we propose the definition and construction of anticipation trees that predict the competitive decisions of the engaged protagonists and thus to be able to estimate the quality of the solutions built. In order to validate the proposed approaches, we compared them with the real behaviors of players and evaluated the contribution of the exploitation of the knowledge. Finally, we proposed a framework allowing a generalization of the method to other business games.

Jury

Thesis of the ORKAD team defended on 13 October 2017

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