Societies are built on social interactions among individuals. Cooperation represents the simplest form of a social interaction: one individual provides a benefit to another one at a cost to itself. Social networks represent a dynamical abstraction of social interactions in a society. The behaviour of an individual towards others and of others towards the individual shape the individual's neighbourhood and hence the local structure of the social network. Here we propose a simple theoretical framework to model dynamic social networks by focussing on each individual's actions instead of interactions between individuals. This eliminates the traditional dichotomy between the strategy of individuals and the structure of the population and easily complements empirical studies. As a consequence, altruists, egoists and fair types are naturally determined by the local social structures, while globally egalitarian networks or stratified structures arise. Cooperative interactions drive the emergence and shape the structure of social networks.
Via Ashish Umre