Evolution of cooperation and coordination in a dynamically networked society

E. Pestelacci, M. Tomassini, and L. Luthi
Biological Theory 3 (2), 139-153, 2008.

Situations of conflict giving rise to social dilemmas are widespread in society and game theory is one major way in which they can be investigated. Starting from the observation that individuals in society interact through networks of acquaintances, we model the co-evolution of the agents’ strategies and of the social network itself using two prototypical games, the Prisoner’s Dilemma and the Stag Hunt. Allowing agents to dismiss ties and establish new ones, we find that cooperation and coordination can be achieved through the self-organization of the social network, a result that is nontrivial, especially in the Prisoner’s Dilemma case. The evolution and stability of cooperation implies the condensation of agents exploiting particular game strategies into strong and stable clusters which are more densely connected, even in the more difficult case of the Prisoner’s Dilemma.

© 2008 Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research

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