Evolutionary Game Theory

  • J. Maynard Smith
Part of the Lecture Notes in Biomathematics book series (LNBM, volume 39)


Evolutionary game theory is a method of analysing the evolution of phenotypes when fitnesses are frequency-dependent. The assumption made about inheritance is the simplest possible one, that individuals produce offspring identical to themselves — i.e. parthenogenetic inheritance. Hence the method is not well suited for analysing the genetic structure of populations, or the way in which evolution depends on breeding systems. Essentially, it is concerned with deciding which phenotypes will win in competition in an evolving population. If the fitnesses of phenotypes are constant and independent of their frequencies, it is simply a matter of deciding which is the fittest; if this is difficult, optimisation methods may be useful. Game theory is relevant only when fitnesses vary with frequency. This paper presents a formal account of evolutionary game theory; applications to field and laboratory data are discussed by Maynard Smith (1979).


Game Theory Mixed Strategy Pure Strategy Payoff Matrix Evolutionary Game Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Charnov, E. L., Maynard Smith, J., Bull, J. J.: Nature, 263 (1976) 125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Eigen, M., Schuster, P. Naturwissenschaften,64 (1977) 541, 65 (1978) 7, 65 (1978) 341.Google Scholar
  3. Hamilton, W. D.: Science, 156 (1967) 477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hamilton, W. D., May, R. M.: Nature, 269 (1977) 578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hammerstein, P.: Anim. Behav. (in the press).Google Scholar
  6. Lawlor, L. R., Maynard Smith, J.: Am. Nat. 110 (1976) 79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Maynard Smith, J.:Anim. Behav. 25 (1977) 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Maynard Smith, J.: The Evolution of Sex. Cambridge University Press (1978).Google Scholar
  9. Maynard Smith, J.: Proc. Roy. Soc. B. 205 (1979) 475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Maynard Smith, J., Parker, G.A.: Anim. Behav. 24 (1976) 159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Maynard Smith, J., Price, G.R.: Nature, 246 (1973) 15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Mirmirani, M., Oster, G.: Theor. Pop. Biol. 13 (1978) 304MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Selten,R.: J:Theor. Biol, (in the press).Google Scholar
  14. Taylor, R.D., Jonker, L.B.: Math. Biosc. 40 (1978) 145.MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Zeeman, E.C.: Proc. Int. Conf. Global theory of dynamical systems. Northwestern, Evanston (1979).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Maynard Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SussexEngland

Personalised recommendations