Evolution of cooperation by reciprocation within structured demes
The iterative two-person Prisoners’ Dilemma game has been generalised to theN-person case. The evolution of cooperation is explored by matching the Tit For Tat (TFT) strategy (Axelrod and Hamilton 1981) against the selfish strategy. Extension of TFT toN-person situations yields a graded set of strategies from the softest TFT, which continues cooperation even if only one of the opponents reciprocates it, to the hardest, which would do so only when all the remaining opponents cooperate.
The hardest TFT can go to fixation against the selfish strategy provided it crosses a threshold frequencypc. All the other TFT are invadable by the selfish (D) or the pure defector strategy, while none can invadeD. Yet, provided a thresholdpc is crossed, they can coexist stably withD. AsN, the size of the group increases, the threshold pc also increases, indicating that the evolution of cooperation is more difficult for larger groups. Under certain conditions, only the soft TFT can coexist stably against the selfish strategyD, while the harder ones cannot. An interesting possibility of a complete takeover of the selfish population by successive invasions by harder and harder TFT strategies is also presented.
Volume 100, 2021
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