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Cooperation is essential for all domains of life. Ironically, it is intrinsically vulnerable to exploitation by cheats. Hence, there is an explanatory necessity that triggers a lot of evolutionary biologists to search for mechanisms that could support cooperation. In general, cooperation can emerge and be maintained when cooperators are sufficiently interacting with themself to provide a kind of assortment and reciprocity. One of the most crucial and common mechanisms to achieve that task are kin selection, spatial structure, and enforcement (punishment). Here I used agent-based simulation models to investigate these pivotal mechanisms against conditional defector strategies and concluded it could easily violate all of them and take over the population. This surprising outcome may cue us to rethink the evolution of cooperation as it illustrates that maintaining cooperation may be more difficult than previously thought. Moreover, besides the theoretical findings, there are empirical applications such as invading the cooperator population of pathogens by genetically engineered conditional defectors, which could be a potential therapy for many incurable diseases.
Cultural group selection model used to evaluate the conditions for agents to evolve who have other-regarding preferences in making decisions in public good games.
This model replicates the Axelrod prisoner’s dilemma tournaments. The model takes as input a file of strategies and pits them against each other to see who achieves the best payoff in the end. Change the payoff structure to see how it changes the tournament outcome!
The model explores food distribution patterns that emerge in a small-scale non-agricultural group when sharing individuals engage in intentional consumption leveling with a given probability.
In our model, individual agents are distributed over a two-dimensional square lattice. The agents play the prisoner’s dilemma game with their neighbors, imitate the highest strategy, and then migrate to empty sites based on their tag preference.
“Food for all” (FFD) is an agent-based model designed to study the evolution of cooperation for food storage. Households face the social dilemma of whether to store food in a corporate stock or to keep it in a private stock.
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.
In the model agents make decisions to contribute of not to the public good of a group, and cooperators may punish, at a cost, defectors. The model is based on group selection, and is used to understan
This study investigates a possible nexus between inter-group competition and intra-group cooperation, which may be called “tribalism.” Building upon previous studies demonstrating a relationship between the environment and social relations, the present research incorporates a social-ecological model as a mediating factor connecting both individuals and communities to the environment. Cyclical and non-cyclical fluctuation in a simple, two-resource ecology drive agents to adopt either “go-it-alone” or group-based survival strategies via evolutionary selection. Novelly, this simulation employs a multilevel selection model allowing group-level dynamics to exert downward selective pressures on individuals’ propensity to cooperate within groups. Results suggest that cooperation and inter-group conflict are co-evolved in a triadic relationship with the environment. Resource scarcity increases inter-group competition, especially when resources are clustered as opposed to widely distributed. Moreover, the tactical advantage of cooperation in the securing of clustered resources enhanced selective pressure on cooperation, even if that implies increased individual mortality for the most altruistic warriors. Troubling, these results suggest that extreme weather, possibly as a result of climate change, could exacerbate conflict in sensitive, weather-dependent social-ecologies—especially places like the Horn of Africa where ecologically sensitive economic modalities overlap with high-levels of diversity and the wide-availability of small arms. As well, global development and foreign aid strategists should consider how plans may increase the value of particular locations where community resources are built or aid is distributed, potentially instigating tribal conflict. In sum, these factors, interacting with pre-existing social dynamics dynamics, may heighten inter-ethnic or tribal conflict in pluralistic but otherwise peaceful communities.
For special issue submission in JASSS.
Righi S., Takacs K., Social Closure and the Evolution of Cooperation via Indirect Reciprocity, Resubmitted after Revisions to Scientific Reports