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The structure of mutations and the evolution of cooperation

MPG-Autoren
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons61185

García,  Julián
Research Group Evolutionary Theory, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56973

Traulsen,  Arne
Research Group Evolutionary Theory, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Garcia_2012.pdf
(Verlagsversion), 676KB

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Zitation

García, J., & Traulsen, A. (2012). The structure of mutations and the evolution of cooperation. PLoS ONE, 7(4): e35287. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035287.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-D323-3
Zusammenfassung
Evolutionary game dynamics in finite populations assumes that all mutations are equally likely, i.e., if there are n strategies a single mutation can result in any strategy with probability 1=n. However, in biological systems it seems natural that not all mutations can arise from a given state. Certain mutations may be far away, or even be unreachable given the current composition of an evolving population. These distances between strategies (or genotypes) define a topology of mutations that so far has been neglected in evolutionary game theory. In this paper we re-evaluate classic results in the evolution of cooperation departing from the assumption of uniform mutations. We examine two cases: the evolution of reciprocal strategies in a repeated prisoner’s dilemma, and the evolution of altruistic punishment in a public goods game. In both cases, alternative but reasonable mutation kernels shift known results in the direction of less cooperation. We therefore show that assuming uniform mutations has a substantial impact on the fate of an evolving population. Our results call for a reassessment of the ‘‘model-less’’ approach to mutations in evolutionary dynamics.