Using Game Theory to Model Collaboration in Distributed Software Engineering

Project Dates: 
January 2014
Project Description: 

Trust is important for effective coordination in global software development teams. However, the co-evolution of trust and coordination is often neglected. To fill the gap, we develop an evolutionary game theory model. Using the Behavior-Preference-Constraint (BPC) model and Adaptive Play, the model challenges the traditional view of trust as a static “resource” for coordination and proposes an alternative view that trust dynamically restricts people’s action choices in interacting with other team members. Through analyzing the model, we describe how trust and coordination co-evolve in the progress of interactions among team members. We propose three propositions summarizing the long-term characteristics of coordination and trust in the process. For example, the co-existence of low trust and high trust can be a stable state in the long run, which explains why low trust can always exist even when all team members strictly prefer effective coordination.