Computational Model Library

Cooperation is essential for all domains of life. Yet, ironically, it is intrinsically vulnerable to exploitation by cheats. Hence, an explanatory necessity spurs many evolutionary biologists to search for mechanisms that could support cooperation. In general, cooperation can emerge and be maintained when cooperators are sufficiently interacting with themselves. This communication provides a kind of assortment and reciprocity. The most crucial and common mechanisms to achieve that task are kin selection, spatial structure, and enforcement (punishment). Here, we used agent-based simulation models to investigate these pivotal mechanisms against conditional defector strategies. We concluded that the latter could easily violate the former and take over the population. This surprising outcome may urge us to rethink the evolution of cooperation, as it illustrates that maintaining cooperation may be more difficult than previously thought. Moreover, empirical applications may support these theoretical findings, such as invading the cooperator population of pathogens by genetically engineered conditional defectors, which could be a potential therapy for many incurable diseases.

Evolution of Conditional Cooperation

Marco Janssen Miles Manning Oyita Udiani | Published Thu Aug 1 04:03:07 2013 | Last modified Fri May 13 22:07:23 2022

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.

Prisoner's Tournament

Kristin Crouse | Published Wed Nov 6 05:39:54 2019 | Last modified Wed Dec 15 02:39:43 2021

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!

Peer reviewed Vigilant sharing in a small-scale society

MARCOS PINHEIRO | Published Wed Jul 22 01:40:09 2020 | Last modified Wed Jul 29 02:03:28 2020

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.

Transitions between homophilic and heterophilic modes of cooperation

Genki Ichinose | Published Sun Jun 14 04:37:32 2015 | Last modified Sun Nov 14 03:59:31 2021

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)

José Ignacio Santos Martín José Manuel Galán Andreas Angourakis Andrea L Balbo | Published Fri Apr 25 09:39:34 2014 | Last modified Mon Apr 8 20:39:22 2019

“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.

Evolution of altruistic punishment

Marco Janssen | Published Wed Sep 3 21:01:26 2008 | Last modified Sat Mar 9 01:22:54 2019

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.

Social Closure and the Evolution of Cooperation via Indirect Reciprocity

Simone Righi Károly Takács | Published Sat Jun 9 14:14:48 2018 | Last modified Sat Jun 9 15:11:49 2018

Righi S., Takacs K., Social Closure and the Evolution of Cooperation via Indirect Reciprocity, Resubmitted after Revisions to Scientific Reports

This website uses cookies and Google Analytics to help us track user engagement and improve our site. If you'd like to know more information about what data we collect and why, please see our data privacy policy. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.