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Previous work with the spatial iterated prisoner’s dilemma has shown that “walk away” cooperators are able to outcompete defectors as well as cooperators that do not respond to defection, but it remains to be seen just how robust the so-called walk away strategy is to ecologically important variables such as population density, error, and offspring dispersal. Our simulation experiments identify socio-ecological conditions in which natural selection favors strategies that emphasize forgiveness over flight in the spatial iterated prisoner’s dilemma. Our interesting results are best explained by considering how population density, error, and offspring dispersal affect the opportunity cost associated with walking away from an error-prone partner.
This NetLogo model implements the Walk Away strategy in a spatial public goods game, where individuals have the ability to leave groups with insufficient levels of cooperation.