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Critical mass effect in evolutionary games triggered by zealots

by   Alessio Cardillo, et al.
University at Buffalo

Tiny perturbations may trigger large responses in systems near criticality, shifting them across equilibria. Committed minorities are suggested to be responsible for the emergence of collective behaviors in many physical, social, and biological systems. Using evolutionary game theory, we address the question whether a finite fraction of zealots can drive the system to large-scale coordination. We find that a tipping point exists in coordination games, whereas the same phenomenon depends on the selection pressure, update rule, and network structure in other types of games. Our study paves the way to understand social systems driven by the individuals' benefit in presence of zealots, such as human vaccination behavior or cooperative transports in animal groups.


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