The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Metagames: the evolution of game-changing traits

Metagames: the evolution of game-changing traits
Metagames: the evolution of game-changing traits
Cooperative social behaviours are ubiquitous in nature and essential to biological theory, yet they present an apparent paradox since cooperators benefit others while potentially incurring a fitness cost. The standard resolution is that cooperation is evolutionarily stable if cooperative behaviours are positively assorted, so their benefits are directed at other cooperators, shifting the problem to explaining the presence of positive assortment. If we view individuals as playing an evolutionary game, then the evolution of assorting traits changes the rules of the game to allow for greater cooperation.
This is one of many ways that individuals can evolve game-changing traits that modify their social niche, since social interactions occur in social environments that are in part the product of evolved traits. We investigate this by introducing a game-theoretic model of metagames where the evolution of individual strategies changes the social game. Because of mathematical equivalences between game-changing mechanisms and pay off matrix transformations, we can use metagames as a common framework to model the coevolution of social games and social conditions.
Instead of simply identifying the conditions under which cooperation evolves, metagames explain how these conditions arise by identifying the circumstances under which the conditions for cooperation evolve. While positive assortment on social traits is necessary for cooperation to be stable, we show that alone it will only allow game-changing traits promoting cooperation to evolve when cooperation is already favoured. This is insuffi?cient to explain the evolution of assortment in the Prisoner's Dilemma. We find that much as assortment on social traits is crucial to the evolution of cooperation, assortment on game-changing traits is crucial to the evolution of social assortment. Because assortment on social and game-changing traits are connected, this assortment has been hidden in existing accounts. We are able to characterise the relationship between the two types of assortment, and show how assortment on game-changing traits can enable the evolution of social assortment. We can therefore explain the evolution of the conditions assumed necessary for the evolution of cooperation.
University of Southampton
Jackson, Adam
e676126a-4743-4456-b023-deafc8b8a427
Jackson, Adam
e676126a-4743-4456-b023-deafc8b8a427
Watson, Richard
ce199dfc-d5d4-4edf-bd7b-f9e224c96c75

Jackson, Adam (2016) Metagames: the evolution of game-changing traits. University of Southampton, Faculty of Physical Science and Engineering, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Cooperative social behaviours are ubiquitous in nature and essential to biological theory, yet they present an apparent paradox since cooperators benefit others while potentially incurring a fitness cost. The standard resolution is that cooperation is evolutionarily stable if cooperative behaviours are positively assorted, so their benefits are directed at other cooperators, shifting the problem to explaining the presence of positive assortment. If we view individuals as playing an evolutionary game, then the evolution of assorting traits changes the rules of the game to allow for greater cooperation.
This is one of many ways that individuals can evolve game-changing traits that modify their social niche, since social interactions occur in social environments that are in part the product of evolved traits. We investigate this by introducing a game-theoretic model of metagames where the evolution of individual strategies changes the social game. Because of mathematical equivalences between game-changing mechanisms and pay off matrix transformations, we can use metagames as a common framework to model the coevolution of social games and social conditions.
Instead of simply identifying the conditions under which cooperation evolves, metagames explain how these conditions arise by identifying the circumstances under which the conditions for cooperation evolve. While positive assortment on social traits is necessary for cooperation to be stable, we show that alone it will only allow game-changing traits promoting cooperation to evolve when cooperation is already favoured. This is insuffi?cient to explain the evolution of assortment in the Prisoner's Dilemma. We find that much as assortment on social traits is crucial to the evolution of cooperation, assortment on game-changing traits is crucial to the evolution of social assortment. Because assortment on social and game-changing traits are connected, this assortment has been hidden in existing accounts. We are able to characterise the relationship between the two types of assortment, and show how assortment on game-changing traits can enable the evolution of social assortment. We can therefore explain the evolution of the conditions assumed necessary for the evolution of cooperation.

Text
__userfiles.soton.ac.uk_Users_ojl1y15_mydesktop_Final thesis.pdf - Version of Record
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
Download (8MB)

More information

Published date: 11 July 2016
Organisations: University of Southampton, Agents, Interactions & Complexity

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 405217
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/405217
PURE UUID: adea135c-71f6-4c4b-92d7-e5828c48b17d

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 18 Feb 2017 00:24
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 20:18

Export record

Contributors

Author: Adam Jackson
Thesis advisor: Richard Watson

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×