The history of SING dates back to the beginning of the 1980s with the first meetings held in Italy. Then, subsequently, meetings were added in Spain, the Netherlands and Poland.
The first time the Italian researchers joined together for a meeting on Game Theory was due to the initiative of the mathematician Gianfranco Gambarelli and the economist Michele Grillo. On the 12th October 1983, a working day was held in Bergamo entitled: "A discussion between economists and mathematicians: recent contributions of Game Theory to Economics". One year later, Pierangelo Mori and Fioravante Patrone organized in Pavia (December 14 and 15) the first meeting under the name that would last for a long time: "Convegno di Teoria dei Giochi ed Applicazioni", called the "second meeting" to acknowledge the relevance of the “working day” held in Bergamo the year before. From then on meetings took place almost annually with the name "Convegno di Teoria dei Giochi ed Applicazioni": Florence (1986, organised by Andrea Battinelli), again Bergamo (1987, Gianfranco Gambarelli), Cagliari (1988, Andrea Battinelli), Modena 1989 (Gianni Ricci), Florence (1991, Piero Tani), Pisa (1992, Giacomo Costa), Genoa (1993, Fausto Mignanego and Fioravante Patrone), Siena (1995, Stefano Vannucci), Bergamo (1996, Gianfranco Gambarelli), Milan (1997, Michele Polo and Mario Gilli), Genoa (1998, Fioravante Patrone) and Bologna (1999, Elettra Agliardi). After this date, the conferences began to form part of the joint venture described later.
The first Spanish Meeting on Game Theory was organised in 1994 in Bilbao by Federico Valenciano and Jose Zarzuelo. This was followed by meetings in Santiago de Compostela (1996, organised by Ignacio García Jurado), Barcelona (1998, Carles Rafels) and Valencia (2000, Amparo Urbano). During the world meeting on Game Theory Society, organised in 2000 in Bilbao by Federico Valenciano, the idea arose of a joint venture that will be discussed later.
There is no tradition of organising Dutch Game Theory conferences. Before the SING joint venture only periodic seminars and impromptu conferences were held. As far as seminars are concerned, monthly ones were organised by Stef Tijs in Nijmegen at the beginning of the 1980s; others followed in Tilburg under the responsibility of Peter Borm. Again in Tilburg, a monthly seminar has been held since the mid 1980s on the closely related area of social choice organised by Ton Storcken, Ad van Deemen, and Harrie de Swart. Several workshops on cooperative game theory have been organised by Gerard van der Laan and René van den Brink in Amsterdam and by Theo Driessen in Enschede.
Regarding conferences, in 1996 the Third International Meeting of the Society for Social Choice and Welfare was organised in Maastricht by Hans Peters and Ton Storcken. In 1998, the 8th International Symposium on Dynamic Games and Applications was organised in Maastricht-Va by Frank Thuijsman and Koos Vrieze. The first conference on Logic, Game Theory and Social Choice (LGS1) was organised in Tilburg-Oisterwijk by Harrie de Swart in 1999. In 2002, Peter Borm c.s. organised a Game Theory conference on the occasion of Stef Tijs' 65th birthday in Tilburg
While some of the pioneering works in Game Theory are due to Polish mathematicians such as Hugo Steinhaus and Jan Mycielski, no national meeting on this area was ever established in Poland. Since the 1970s the groups working on Game Theory and related topics in Warzaw and Wrocław held regular seminars that used to be rather interdisciplinary. In 2004 Andrzej Wieczorek organised an international conference in Game Theory and mathematical economics in Warzaw, and in 2008 the 13th International Symposium of Dynamic Games was organised by Andrzej Nowak in Wrocław just after SING4.
France has a long tradition of research in Game Theory that goes back to the 19th century with the seminal works of Antoine Augustin Cournot on the duopoly solution, that is a restricted version of the Nash equilibrium and, later in the first half of the 20th century, with the 1938 book of Émile Borel ”Applications aux Jeux de Hasard” and earlier notes, where he proved a minimax theorem for two-person zero-sum matrix games for a symmetric payoff matrix. Since the immediate years after the second world war, Game Theory has represented one of the most prominent research fields in mathematics and economics in France, and nowadays also involves several research teams in computer science and artificial intelligence across the country. Two SING conferences were organized in France so far, both in Paris. The first one (SING7) was organized in 2011 by Michel Grabisch and Agnieszka Rusinowska. The second SING conference in France (SING13) was organized by Stefano Moretti in 2017. There exist many French communities working on Game Theory, both on cooperative and non-cooperative games, and several of them participate very actively and regularly in SING conferences, e.g., Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne – CES (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), LAMSADE (Université Paris-Dauphine) and GATE Saint Etienne (Université Jean Monnet). Every year these groups organize scientific meetings on game theory and related topics. In particular, since 2007 Michel Grabisch organizes annual OSGAD (Ordered Structures in Games and Decisions) workshops at CES, usually in November. Moreover, two French CNRS laboratories, CES and Aix-Marseille School of Economics are institutional members of the CTN (Coalition Theory Network) and have organized several annual CTN workshops (Marseille / Aix-en-Provence – 1999, 2003, 2010, 2019; Paris – 2005 and 2012).
The joint venture
In 2000 Federico Valenciano organized in Bilbao GAMES 2000, the first Meeting of the Game Theory Society. During this conference, Fioravante Patrone, director of the Italian CITG, took the initiative of looking for a ”joint venture” between Italy and Spain, suggesting the alternation of Italian and Spanish meetings. The agreement of this idea by the involved researchers lead to the meetings of Ischia (2001), Sevilla (2002), Urbino (2003) and Elche (2004).
During the Meeting of Urbino the idea of The Netherlands as a ”new entry” into the Italian-Spanish alternation, proposed by Patrone, was eagerly approved. The first edition of SING (Spanish-Italian-Netherlands Game Theory Meeting) was organized by Hans Peters in Maastricht from 24 to 26 June 2005. Andrea di Liddo organized the second edition, SING2, in Foggia. Juan Tejada organized SING3 in Madrid in 2007. It was then agreed that other European countries wishing to enter the rota had to participate first as guest organisers and only after a second participation in this role could they then actually join SING. In 2008 the conference was organized outside one of the three SING countries for the first time: Jacek Mercik organized SING4 in Wroclaw. In 2009 SING5 was held in Amsterdam, organized by René van der Brink. In 2010 SING6 has been organized in Palermo by Dario Bauso. The following two years the conference is again outside the SING countries: in 2011 Michel Grabisch organized SING7 in Paris; in 2012 László Á. Kóczy organized SING8 in Budapest. SING9 was organized respectively in Vigo in 2013 by Gustavo Bergantiños.
Poland was the guest organizer for the second time in 2014 (Kraków, organized by Izabella Stach) for SING10 and Poland became an actual member of SING. In 2014, a decision has been made not to change the acronym, in view of the fact that it has become well-known, but to transform the name of the meetings from 2015 on to ”SING – European Meeting on Game Theory”. In 2015, the SING11 Meeting taken place in St. Petersburg, organized by Leon Petrosyan. The 2015 edition (SING11) also involved the 9th International Conference on Game Theory and Management (GTM2015). The 2016 edition (SING12) took place in Odense, Denmark, organized by Peter Sudhölter. In 2017 SING returned to France: at Paris Dauphine Stefano Moretti organized SING13 and France became a SING member. In 2018 SING took place in Germany: SING14 was organized in Bayreuth by Frank Steffen. In 2019 SING15 took place in Turku, Finland, by Hannu Salonen.
In 2021, for the first time ever, the SING16 will be completely online, organized by the Departamento de Teoría e Historia Económica of the Universidad de Granada (Spain).