Playing against the fittest: a simple strategy that promotes the emergence of cooperation

Brede, M. (2011) Playing against the fittest: a simple strategy that promotes the emergence of cooperation EPL (Europhysics Letters), 94, (3), 30003-[7pp]. (doi:10.1209/0295-5075/94/30003).


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Understanding the emergence and sustainability of cooperation is a fundamental problem in evolutionary biology and is frequently studied in the framework of evolutionary game theory. A very powerful mechanism to promote cooperation is network reciprocity, where the interaction patterns and opportunities for strategy spread of agents are constrained to limited sets of permanent interactions partners. Cooperation survives because it is possible for closeknit communities of cooperation to be shielded from invasion by defectors. Here we show that parameter ranges in which cooperation can survive are strongly expanded if game play on networks is skewed towards more frequent interactions with more successful neighbours. In particular, if agents exclusively select neighbors for game play that are more successful than themselves, cooperation can even dominate in situations in which it would die out if interaction neighbours were chosen without a bias or with a preference for less successful opponents. We demonstrate that the “selecting fitter neighbours” strategy is evolutionarily stable. Moreover, it will emerge as the dominant strategy out of an initially random population of agents.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1209/0295-5075/94/30003
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity
ePrint ID: 272859
Date :
Date Event
28 April 2011e-pub ahead of print
May 2011Published
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2011 16:23
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 17:38
Further Information:Google Scholar

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