Environmental Risk, Cooperation, and Communication Complexity

  • Peter Andras
  • Gilbert Roberts
  • John Lazarus
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2636)


The evolution of cooperation and communication in communities of individuals is a puzzling problem for a wide range of scientific disciplines, ranging from evolutionary theory to the theory and application of multi-agent systems. A key issue is to understand the factors that affect collaboration and communication evolution. To address this problem, here we choose the environmental risk as a compact descriptor of the environment in a model world of simple agents. We analyse the evolution of cooperation and communication as a function of the environmental risk. Our findings show that collaboration is more likely to rise to high levels within the agent society in a world characterised by high risk than in one characterised by low risk. With respect to the evolution of communication, we found that communities of agents with high levels of collaboration are more likely to use less complex communication than those which show lower levels of collaboration. Our results have important implications for understanding the evolution of both cooperation and communication, and the interrelationships between them.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Andras
    • 1
  • Gilbert Roberts
    • 2
  • John Lazarus
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Computing ScienceUniversity of NewcastleNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.School of BiologyUniversity of NewcastleNewcastle upon TyneUK

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