Evolutionary games on multilayer networks: a colloquium

  • Zhen Wang
  • Lin Wang
  • Attila Szolnoki
  • Matjaž Perc

DOI: 10.1140/epjb/e2015-60270-7

Cite this article as:
Wang, Z., Wang, L., Szolnoki, A. et al. Eur. Phys. J. B (2015) 88: 124. doi:10.1140/epjb/e2015-60270-7


Networks form the backbone of many complex systems, ranging from the Internet to human societies. Accordingly, not only is the range of our interactions limited and thus best described and modeled by networks, it is also a fact that the networks that are an integral part of such models are often interdependent or even interconnected. Networks of networks or multilayer networks are therefore a more apt description of social systems. This colloquium is devoted to evolutionary games on multilayer networks, and in particular to the evolution of cooperation as one of the main pillars of modern human societies. We first give an overview of the most significant conceptual differences between single-layer and multilayer networks, and we provide basic definitions and a classification of the most commonly used terms. Subsequently, we review fascinating and counterintuitive evolutionary outcomes that emerge due to different types of interdependencies between otherwise independent populations. The focus is on coupling through the utilities of players, through the flow of information, as well as through the popularity of different strategies on different network layers. The colloquium highlights the importance of pattern formation and collective behavior for the promotion of cooperation under adverse conditions, as well as the synergies between network science and evolutionary game theory.


Statistical and Nonlinear Physics 

Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhen Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lin Wang
    • 3
  • Attila Szolnoki
    • 4
  • Matjaž Perc
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.School of Computer and Information ScienceSouthwest UniversityChongqingP.R. China
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsHong Kong Baptist UniversityHong KongP.R. China
  3. 3.Centre for Chaos and Complex NetworksCity University of Hong KongHong KongP.R. China
  4. 4.Institute of Technical Physics and Materials Science, Centre for Energy ResearchHungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary
  5. 5.Faculty of Natural Sciences and MathematicsUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia
  6. 6.Department of Physics, Faculty of SciencesKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia
  7. 7.CAMTP — Center for Applied Mathematics and Theoretical PhysicsUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia