author: Vishva Sundarapandian Raani
title: Modelling and analysis of board games
keywords: probabilistic model checking; modelling; applied research
topics: Case studies and Applications
committee: Matthias Volk ,
Christina Kolb
started: April 2021


Project Description:

Most board games contain an element of chance, often realised through throwing dice. Typical examples are Snakes and Ladders, Game of the Goose or Monopoly. While playing these games, interesting questions arise:

  • How long does a game take on average? Will it ever finish?
  • Does the starting player have an advantage?
  • Are all fields visited with equal probability?

Existing research indicates that some of these questions have quite surprising answers. For instance, in Monopoly, not all streets have the same probability (see here). The Game of the Goose might not even end with a winner for two players (see this research paper).

The aim of this project is to model and analyse board games by probabilistic model checking. First, a board game is specified as a probabilistic model containing all relevant information and probabilities. Afterwards, the probability to reach a certain field for example can be automatically analysed with existing tools.


The suggested tasks are the following:

  1. Select (simple) board games (or dice games) and interesting questions to analyse.
  2. Model (part of) the board game as a probabilistic model.
  3. Use existing tools to automatically analyse the model with respect to the question.

These steps can be repeated for multiple games. Suggestions for interesting games are highly welcome.


Interested in learning more about probabilistic models, previous knowledge on state-based models is helpful (but not required); motivated to dive into the modelling languages and tools; and of course having fun playing board games.