Evolutionary Spatial Games Under Stress

  • J. Alonso
  • A. Fernández
  • H. Fort
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3993)


We analyse different evolutionary spatial games, in which the pressure of the environment is taken into account, using binary cellular automata. The agents are unconditional players: at each time step a given cell cooperates (play C) or defects (play D) against all its neighbours. The pressure of the environment is implemented by requiring a minimum score U min , representing indispensable resources (nutrients, energy, revenues, etc.) for an individual to prosper. Therefore a cell, instead of evolving just by adopting the state of its most successful neighbour, also takes into account if the ”winner” gets a score above or below U min . In the latter case it has a probability of adopting the opposite state. Besides the paradigmatic and widely used Prisoner’s Dilemma (PD), two other games are analysed: the Hawk-Dove (H-D), popular in biology, and the Stag Hunt (SH) that recently came into favour in social sciences. The effect of the environmental stress is particularly dramatic in the case of the PD: it allows the evolution of cooperation for payoff matrices where defection was the rule for simple unconditional strategy players. Finally, we discuss a more sophisticated model version in which the ordinary evolutionary recipe of copying the most successful neighbour is supplemented with a ”win-stay, lose-shift” criterion. This model variant, for a restricted region of the parameter space, produces critical scaling laws.


Cellular Automaton Evolutionary Game Winner Strategy Mutual Cooperation Mutual Defection 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Alonso
    • 1
  • A. Fernández
    • 1
  • H. Fort
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Physics, Facultad de IngenieríaUniversidad de la RepúblicaMontevideoUruguay
  2. 2.Institute of Physics, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de la RepúblicaMontevideoUruguay

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