, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 289-314

The Emergence of Reactive Strategies in Simulated Heterogeneous Populations

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Abstract

The computer simulation study explores the impact of the duration of social impact on the generation and stabilization of cooperative strategies. Rather than seeding the simulations with a finite set of strategies, a continuous distribution of strategies is being defined. Members of heterogeneous populations were characterized by a pair of probabilistic reactive strategies: the probability to respond to cooperation by cooperation and the probability to respond to defection by cooperation. This generalized reactive strategy yields the standard TFT mechanism, the All-Cooperate, All-Defect and Bully strategies as special cases. Pairs of strategies interacted through a Prisoner's Dilemma game and exerted social influence on all other members. Manipulating: (i) the initial distribution of populations' strategies, and (ii) the duration of social influence, we monitored the conditions leading to the emergence and stabilization of cooperative strategies. Results show that: (1) The duration of interactions between pairs of strategies constitutes a crucial factor for the emergence and stabilization of cooperative strategies, (2) Unless sufficient learning intervals are provided, initializing the simulations with cooperative populations does not guarantee that cooperation will sustain.