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Journal Article

Mechanisms for similarity based cooperation


Traulsen,  A.
Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;
Research Group Evolutionary Theory, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Traulsen, A. (2008). Mechanisms for similarity based cooperation. European Physical Journal B, 63(3), 363-371. doi:10.1140/epjb/e2008-00031-3.

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Cooperation based on similarity has been discussed since Richard Dawkins introduced the term "green beard" effect. In these models, individuals cooperate based on an aribtrary signal (or tag) such as the famous green beard. Here, two different models for such tag based cooperation are analysed. As neutral drift is important in both models, a finite population framework is applied. The first model, which we term "cooperative tags" considers a situation in which groups of cooperators are formed by some joint signal. Defectors adopting the signal and exploiting the group can lead to a breakdown of cooperation. In this case, conditions are derived under which the average abundance of the more cooperative strategy exceeds 50%. The second model considers a situation in which individuals start defecting towards others that are not similar to them. This situation is termed "defective tags". It is shown that in this case, individuals using tags to cooperate exclusively with their own kind dominate over unconditional cooperators.