Evolutionary escape from the prisoner's dilemma

Lee Worden, Simon A. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

The classic prisoner's dilemma model of game theory is modified by introducing occasional variations on the options available to players. Mutation and selection of game options reliably change the game matrix, gradually, from a prisoner's dilemma game into a byproduct mutualism one, in which cooperation is stable, and "temptation to defect" is replaced by temptation to cooperate. This result suggests that when there are many different potential ways of interacting, exploring those possibilities may make escape from prisoner's dilemmas a common outcome in the world. A consequence is that persistent prisoner's dilemma structures may be less common than one might otherwise expect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-422
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume245
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 7 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

Keywords

  • Adaptive dynamics
  • Agent-based models
  • Agent-based simulation
  • Byproduct cooperation
  • Byproduct mutualism
  • Complex systems
  • Cultural evolution
  • Division of labor game
  • Evolution of cooperation
  • Evolutionary game theory
  • Prisoner's dilemma
  • Tragedy of the commons

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