Environmental feedback drives cooperation in spatial social dilemmas

02/19/2018
by   Attila Szolnoki, et al.
0

Exploiting others is beneficial individually but it could also be detrimental globally. The reverse is also true: a higher cooperation level may change the environment in a way that is beneficial for all competitors. To explore the possible consequence of this feedback we consider a coevolutionary model where the local cooperation level determines the payoff values of the applied prisoner's dilemma game. We observe that the coevolutionary rule provides a significantly higher cooperation level comparing to the traditional setup independently of the topology of the applied interaction graph. Interestingly, this cooperation supporting mechanism offers lonely defectors a high surviving chance for a long period hence the relaxation to the final cooperating state happens logarithmically slow. As a consequence, the extension of the traditional evolutionary game by considering interactions with the environment provides a good opportunity for cooperators, but their reward may arrive with some delay.

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