Many problems in nature can be conveniently framed as a problem of evolution of collective cooperative behaviour, often modelled resorting to the tools of evolutionary game theory in well-mixed populations, combined with an appropriate N-person dilemma. Yet, the well-mixed assumption fails to describe the population dynamics whenever individuals have a say in deciding which groups they will participate. Here we propose a simple model in which dynamical group formation is described as a result of a topological evolution of a social network of interactions. We show analytically how evolutionary dynamics under public goods games in finite adaptive networks can be effectively transformed into a N-Person dilemma involving both coordination and co-existence. Such dynamics would be impossible to foresee from more conventional 2-person interactions as well as from descriptions based on infinite, well-mixed populations. Finally, we show how stochastic effects help rendering cooperation viable, promoting polymorphic configurations in which cooperators prevail.
Evolution of collective action in adaptive social structures
João A. Moreira, Jorge M. Pacheco & Francisco C. Santos
Scientific Reports 3, Article number: 1521 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep01521