Tracking the Evolution of Cooperation in Complex Networked Populations

  • Flávio L. Pinheiro
  • Francisco C. Santos
  • Jorge M. Pacheco
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7246)


Social networks affect in such a fundamental way the dynamics of the population they support that the global, population-wide behavior that one observes often bears no relation to the agent processes it stems from. Up to now, linking the global networked dynamics to such agent mechanisms has remained elusive. Here we define an observable dynamic and use it to track the self-organization of cooperators when co-evolving with defectors in networked populations interacting via a Prisoner’s Dilemma. Computations on homogeneous networks evolve towards the coexistence between cooperator and defector agents, while computations in heterogeneous networks lead to the coordination between them. We show how the global dynamics co-evolves with the motifs of cooperator agents in the population, the overall emergence of cooperation depending sensitively on this co-evolution.


Complex Networks Self-Organization Cooperation Evolutionary Game Theory Evolutionary Dynamics 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Flávio L. Pinheiro
    • 1
  • Francisco C. Santos
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jorge M. Pacheco
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Instituto para a Investigacao InterdisciplinarATP-Group, CMAFLisboa CodexPortugal
  2. 2.Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversidade Técnica de LisboaLisboaPortugal
  3. 3.Departamento de Matemática e AplicaçõesUniversidade do MinhoBragaPortugal

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