Exploration-exploitation trade-off in a treasure hunting game

Dimitri Volchenkov, Jonathan Helbach, Marko Tscherepanow, Sina Küheel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Searching experiments conducted in different virtual environments over a gender balanced group of people revealed a gender irrelevant scale-free spread of searching activity on large spatiotemporal scales. We have suggested and solved analytically a simple statistical model of the coherent-noise type describing the exploration-exploitation trade-off in humans ("should I stay or should I go"). The model exhibits a variety of saltatory behaviours, ranging from Levy flights occurring under uncertainty to Brownian walks performed by a treasure hunter confident of the eventual success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-121
Number of pages21
JournalElectronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science
StatePublished - 2013


  • Exploration-exploitation trade-off
  • Lévy foraging hypothesis
  • Virtual Environments


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