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Journal Article

Active linking in evolutionary games

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Pacheco, J. M., Traulsen, A., & Nowak, M. A. (2006). Active linking in evolutionary games. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 243(3), 437-443. doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2006.06.027.

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In the traditional approach to evolutionary game theory, the individuals of a population meet each other at random, and they have no control over the frequency or duration of interactions. Here we remove these simplifying assumptions. We introduce a new model, where individuals differ in the rate at which they seek new interactions. Once a link between two individuals has formed, the productivity of this link is evaluated. Links can be broken off at different rates. In a limiting case, the linking dynamics introduces a simple transformation of the payoff matrix. We outline conditions for evolutionary stability. As a specific example, we study the interaction between cooperators and defectors. We find a simple relationship that characterizes those linking dynamics which allow natural selection to favour cooperation over defection. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.