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1.
Second-order free-riding on antisocial punishment restores the effectiveness of prosocial punishment
Attila Szolnoki, Matjaž Perc, 2017, original scientific article

Abstract: Economic experiments have shown that punishment can increase public goods game contributions over time. However, the effectiveness of punishment is challenged by second-order free-riding and antisocial punishment. The latter implies that noncooperators punish cooperators, while the former implies unwillingness to shoulder the cost of punishment. Here, we extend the theory of cooperation in the spatial public goods game by considering four competing strategies, which are traditional cooperators and defectors, as well as cooperators who punish defectors and defectors who punish cooperators. We show that if the synergistic effects are high enough to sustain cooperation based on network reciprocity alone, antisocial punishment does not deter public cooperation. Conversely, if synergistic effects are low and punishment is actively needed to sustain cooperation, antisocial punishment does is viable, but only if the cost-to-fine ratio is low. If the costs are relatively high, cooperation again dominates as a result of spatial pattern formation. Counterintuitively, defectors who do not punish cooperators, and are thus effectively second-order free-riding on antisocial punishment, form an active layer around punishing cooperators, which protects them against defectors that punish cooperators. A stable three-strategy phase that is sustained by the spontaneous emergence of cyclic dominance is also possible via the same route. The microscopic mechanism behind the reported evolutionary outcomes can be explained by the comparison of invasion rates that determine the stability of subsystem solutions. Our results reveal an unlikely evolutionary escape from adverse effects of antisocial punishment, and they provide a rationale for why second-order free-riding is not always an impediment to the evolutionary stability of punishment.
Keywords: complex systems, interdisciplinary physics, punishment, cooperation
Published: 13.11.2017; Views: 485; Downloads: 300
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2.
Correlation of positive and negative reciprocity fails to confer an evolutionary advantage: phase transitions to elementary strategies
Attila Szolnoki, Matjaž Perc, 2013, original scientific article

Abstract: Economic experiments reveal that humans value cooperation and fairness. Punishing unfair behavioris therefore common, and according to the theory of strong reciprocity, it is also directly related to rewarding cooperative behavior. However, empirical data fail to confirm that positive and negative reciprocity are correlated. Inspired by this disagreement, we determine whether the combined application of reward and punishment is evolutionarily advantageous. We study a spatial public goods game, where in addition to the three elementary strategies of defection, rewarding, and punishment, a fourth strategy that combines the latter two competes for space. We find rich dynamical behavior that gives rise to intricate phase diagrams where continuous and discontinuous phase transitions occur in succession. Indirect territorial competition, spontaneous emergence of cyclic dominance, as well as divergent fluctuations of oscillations that terminate in an absorbing phase are observed. Yet, despite the high complexity of solutions, the combined strategy can survive only in very narrow and unrealistic parameter regions. Elementary strategies, either in pure or mixed phases, are much more common and likely to prevail. Our results highlight the importance of patterns and structure in human cooperation, which should be considered in future experiments.
Keywords: public goods, punishment, reward, evolutionary games, collective phenomena, phase transitions, physics of social systems
Published: 03.08.2017; Views: 510; Downloads: 265
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3.
Vortices determine the dynamics of biodiversity in cyclical interactions with protection spillovers
Attila Szolnoki, Matjaž Perc, 2015, original scientific article

Abstract: If rock beats scissors and scissors beat paper, one might assume that rock beats paper too. But this is not the case for intransitive relationships that make up the famous rock-paper-scissors game. However, the sole presence of paper might prevent rock from beating scissors, simply because paper beats rock. This is the blueprint for the rock-paper-scissors game with protection spillovers, which has recently been introduced as a new paradigm for biodiversity in well-mixed microbial populations. Here we study the game in structured populations, demonstrating that protection spillovers give rise to spatial patterns that are impossible to observe in the classical rock-paper-scissors game.Weshow that the spatiotemporal dynamics of the system is determined by the density of stable vortices, which may ultimately transform to frozen states, to propagating waves, or to target waves with reversed propagation direction, depending further on the degree and type of randomness in the interactions among the species. If vortices are rare, the fixation to waves and complex oscillatory solutions is likelier. Moreover, annealed randomness in interactions favors the emergence of target waves, while quenched randomness favors collective synchronization. Our results demonstrate that protection spillovers may fundamentally change the dynamics of cyclic dominance in structured populations, and they outline the possibility of programming pattern formation in microbial populations.
Keywords: cyclical interactions, pattern formation, vortices, phase transitions, selforganization, biodiversity
Published: 03.07.2017; Views: 540; Downloads: 320
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4.
Self-organization towards optimally interdependent networks by means of coevolution
Zhen Wang, Attila Szolnoki, Matjaž Perc, 2014, original scientific article

Abstract: Coevolution between strategy and network structure is established as a means to arrive at the optimal conditions needed to resolve social dilemmas. Yet recent research has highlighted that the interdependence between networks may be just as important as the structure of an individual network. We therefore introduce the coevolution of strategy and network interdependence to see whether this can give rise to elevated levels of cooperation in the prisonerʼs dilemma game. We show that the interdependence between networks self-organizes so as to yield optimal conditions for the evolution of cooperation. Even under extremely adverse conditions, cooperators can prevail where on isolated networks they would perish. This is due to the spontaneous emergence of a two-class society, with only the upper class being allowed to control and take advantage of the interdependence. Spatial patterns reveal that cooperators, once arriving at the upper class, are much more competent than defectors in sustaining compact clusters of followers. Indeed, the asymmetric exploitation of interdependence confers to them a strong evolutionary advantage that may resolve even the toughest of social dilemmas.
Keywords: coevolution, cooperation, interdependent networks, evolutionary games, collective phenomena, self-organization, phase transitions, physics of social systems
Published: 03.07.2017; Views: 632; Downloads: 297
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5.
Self-organization of punishment in structured populations
Matjaž Perc, Attila Szolnoki, 2012, original scientific article

Abstract: Cooperation is crucial for the remarkable evolutionary success of the human species. Not surprisingly, some individuals are willing to bear additional costs in order to punish defectors. Current models assume that, once set, the fine and cost of punishment do not change over time. Here we show that relaxing this assumption by allowing players to adapt their sanctioning efforts in dependence on the success of cooperation can explain both the spontaneous emergence of punishment and its ability to deter defectors and those unwilling to punish them with globally negligible investments. By means of phase diagrams and the analysis of emerging spatial patterns, we demonstrate that adaptive punishment promotes public cooperation through the invigoration of spatial reciprocity, the prevention of the emergence of cyclic dominance, or the provision of competitive advantages to those that sanction antisocial behavior. The results presented indicate that the process of self-organization significantly elevates the effectiveness of punishment, and they reveal new mechanisms by means of which this fascinating and widespread social behavior could have evolved.
Keywords: cooperation, public goods, punishment, phase transitions, physics of social systems
Published: 03.07.2017; Views: 594; Downloads: 326
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6.
Punish, but not too hard: how costly punishment spreads in the spatial public goods game
Dirk Helbing, Attila Szolnoki, Matjaž Perc, György Szabó, 2010, original scientific article

Abstract: We study the evolution of cooperation in spatial public goods games where, besides the classical strategies of cooperation (C) and defection (D), we consider punishing cooperators (PC) or punishing defectors (PD) as an additional strategy. Using a minimalist modeling approach, our goal is to separately clarify and identify the consequences of the two punishing strategies. Since punishment is costly, punishing strategies lose the evolutionary competition in case of well-mixed interactions. When spatial interactions are taken into account, however, the outcome can be strikingly different, and cooperation may spread. The underlying mechanism depends on the character of the punishment strategy. In the case of cooperating punishers,increasing the fine results in a rising cooperation level. In contrast, in the presence of the PD strategy, the phase diagram exhibits a reentrant transition as the fine is increased. Accordingly, the level of cooperation shows a non-monotonous dependence on the fine. Remarkably, punishing strategies can spread in both cases, but based on largely different mechanisms, which depend on the cooperativeness (or not) of punishers.
Keywords: evolutionary game theory, public goods, spatial games, punishment, social systems, moral
Published: 03.07.2017; Views: 784; Downloads: 305
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7.
Probabilistic sharing solves the problem of costly punishment
Xiaojie Chen, Attila Szolnoki, Matjaž Perc, 2014, original scientific article

Abstract: Cooperators that refuse to participate in sanctioning defectors create the secondorder free-rider problem. Such cooperators will not be punished because they contribute to the public good, but they also eschew the costs associated with punishing defectors. Altruistic punishers - those that cooperate and punish - are at a disadvantage, and it is puzzling how such behaviour has evolved. We show that sharing the responsibility to sanction defectors rather than relying on certain individuals to do so permanently can solve the problem of costly punishment. Inspired by the fact that humans have strong but also emotional tendencies for fair play, we consider probabilistic sanctioning as the simplest way of distributing the duty. In well-mixed populations the public goods game is transformed into a coordination game with full cooperation and defection as the two stable equilibria, while in structured populations pattern formation supports additional counterintuitive solutions that are reminiscent of Parrondoʼs paradox.
Keywords: social dynamics, networks, punishment, public goods, econophysics
Published: 03.07.2017; Views: 590; Downloads: 317
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8.
Information sharing promotes prosocial behaviour
Attila Szolnoki, Matjaž Perc, 2013, original scientific article

Abstract: More often than not, bad decisions are bad regardless of where and when they are made. Information sharing might thus be utilized to mitigate them. Here we show that sharing information about strategy choice between players residing on two different networks reinforces the evolution of cooperation. In evolutionary games, the strategy reflects the action of each individual that warrants the highest utility in a competitive setting. We therefore assume that identical strategies on the two networks reinforce themselves by lessening their propensity to change. Besides network reciprocity working in favour of cooperation on each individual network, we observe the spontaneous emergence of correlated behaviour between the two networks, which further deters defection. If information is shared not just between individuals but also between groups, the positive effect is even stronger, and this despite the fact that information sharing is implemented without any assumptions with regard to content.
Keywords: cooperation, information, social dilemma, public goods, interdependent networks, statistical physics of social systems
Published: 03.07.2017; Views: 556; Downloads: 292
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9.
Evolutionary advantages of adaptive rewarding
Attila Szolnoki, Matjaž Perc, 2012, original scientific article

Abstract: Our well-being depends on both our personal success and the success of our society. The realization of this fact makes cooperation an essential trait. Experiments have shown that rewards can elevate our readiness to cooperate, but since giving a reward inevitably entails paying a cost for it, the emergence and stability of such behavior remains elusive. Here we show that allowing for the act of rewarding to self-organize in dependence on the success of cooperation creates several evolutionary advantages that instill new ways through which collaborative efforts are promoted. Ranging from indirect territorial battle to the spontaneous emergence and destruction of coexistence, phase diagrams and the underlying spatial patterns reveal fascinatingly rich social dynamics that explain why this costly behavior has evolved and persevered. Comparisons with adaptive punishment, however, uncover an Achilles heel of adaptive rewarding, coming from over-aggression, which in turn hinders optimal utilization of network reciprocity. This may explain why, despite its success, rewarding is not as firmly embedded into our societal organization as punishment.
Keywords: cooperation, public goods, reward, punishment, phase transitions, physics of social systems
Published: 30.06.2017; Views: 885; Downloads: 321
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10.
Emergence of multilevel selection in the prisoner's dilemma game on coevolving random networks
Attila Szolnoki, Matjaž Perc, 2009, original scientific article

Abstract: We study the evolution of cooperation in the prisoner's dilemma game, whereby a coevolutionary rule is introduced that molds the random topology of the interaction network in two ways. First, existing links are deleted whenever a player adopts a new strategy or its degree exceeds a threshold value; second, new links are added randomly after a given number of game iterations. These coevolutionary processes correspond to the generic formation of new links and deletion of existing links that, especially in human societies, appear frequently as a consequence of ongoing socialization, change of lifestyle or death. Due to the counteraction of deletions and additions of links the initial heterogeneity of the interaction network is qualitatively preserved, and thus cannot be held responsible for the observed promotion of cooperation. Indeed, the coevolutionary rule evokes the spontaneous emergence of a powerful multilevel selection mechanism, which despite the sustained random topology of the evolving network, maintains cooperation across the whole span of defection temptation values.
Keywords: evolutionary game theory, prisoner's dilemma, spatial games, coevolution, social systems
Published: 30.06.2017; Views: 912; Downloads: 329
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