In spatial games players typically alter their strategy by imitating the most successful or one randomly selected neighbor. Since a single neighbor is taken as reference, the information stemming from other neighbors is neglected, which begets the consideration of alternative, possibly more realistic approaches. Here we show that strategy changes inspired not only by the performance of individual neighbors but rather by entire neighborhoods introduce a qualitatively different evolutionary dynamics that is able to support the stable existence of very small cooperative clusters. This leads to phase diagrams that differ significantly from those obtained by means of pairwise strategy updating. In particular, the survivability of cooperators is possible even by high temptations to defect and over a much wider uncertainty range. We support the simulation results by means of pair approximations and analysis of spatial patterns, which jointly highlight the importance of local information for the resolution of social dilemmas.
Via Shaolin Tan