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1.
Determinants of public cooperation in multiplex networks
Federico Battiston, Matjaž Perc, Vito Latora, 2017, original scientific article

Abstract: Synergies between evolutionary game theory and statistical physics have significantly improved our understanding of public cooperation in structured populations. Multiplex networks, in particular, provide the theoretical framework within network science that allows us to mathematically describe the rich structure of interactions characterizing human societies. While research has shown that multiplex networks may enhance the resilience of cooperation, the interplay between the overlap in the structure of the layers and the control parameters of the corresponding games has not yet been investigated. With this aim, we consider here the public goods game on a multiplex network, and we unveil the role of the number of layers and the overlap of links, as well as the impact of different synergy factors in different layers, on the onset of cooperation. We show that enhanced public cooperation emerges only when a significant edge overlap is combined with at least one layer being able to sustain some cooperation by means of a sufficiently high synergy factor. In the absence of either of these conditions, the evolution of cooperation in multiplex networks is determined by the bounds of traditional network reciprocity with no enhanced resilience. These results caution against overly optimistic predictions that the presence of multiple social domains may in itself promote cooperation, and they help us better understand the complexity behind prosocial behavior in layered social systems.
Keywords: cooperation, public goods, networks, physics of social systems
Published: 04.12.2017; Views: 581; Downloads: 306
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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: 592; Downloads: 277
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3.
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: 709; Downloads: 308
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4.
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: 657; Downloads: 334
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5.
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: 628; Downloads: 302
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6.
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: 965; Downloads: 329
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7.
Wisdom of groups promotes cooperation in evolutionary social dilemmas
Attila Szolnoki, Zhen Wang, Matjaž Perc, 2012, original scientific article

Abstract: Whether or not to change strategy depends not only on the personal success of each individual, but also on the success of others. Using this as motivation, we study the evolution of cooperation in games that describe social dilemmas, where the propensity to adopt a different strategy depends both on individual fitness as well as on the strategies of neighbors. Regardless of whether the evolutionary process is governed by pairwise or group interactions, we show that plugging into the wisdom of groups strongly promotes cooperative behavior. The more the wider knowledge is taken into account the more the evolution of defectors is impaired. We explain this by revealing a dynamically decelerated invasion process, by means of which interfaces separating different domains remain smooth and defectors therefore become unable to efficiently invade cooperators. This in turn invigorates spatial reciprocity and establishes decentralized decision making as very beneficial for resolving social dilemmas.
Keywords: cooperation, public goods, wisdom of crowds, phase transitions, physics of social systems
Published: 23.06.2017; Views: 824; Downloads: 283
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8.
Sustainable institutionalized punishment requires elimination of second-order free-riders
Matjaž Perc, 2012, original scientific article

Abstract: Although empirical and theoretical studies affirm that punishment can elevate collaborative efforts, its emergence and stability remain elusive. By peer-punishment the sanctioning is something an individual elects to do depending on the strategies in its neighborhood. The consequences of unsustainable efforts are therefore local. By pool-punishment, on the other hand, where resources for sanctioning are committed in advance and at large, the notion of sustainability has greater significance. In a population with free-riders, punishers must be strong in numbers to keep the "punishment pool" from emptying. Failure to do so renders the concept of institutionalized sanctioning futile. We show that pool-punishment in structured populations is sustainable, but only if second-order free-riders are sanctioned as well, and to a such degree that they cannot prevail. A discontinuous phase transition leads to an outbreak of sustainability when punishers subvert second-order free-riders in the competition against defectors.
Keywords: cooperation, public goods, punishment, institutions, phase transitions, physics of social systems
Published: 23.06.2017; Views: 840; Downloads: 295
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9.
Stability of cooperation under image scoring in group interactions
Heinrich H. Nax, Matjaž Perc, Attila Szolnoki, Dirk Helbing, 2015, original scientific article

Abstract: Image scoring sustains cooperation in the repeated two-player prisoner's dilemma through indirect reciprocity, even though defection is the uniquely dominant selfish behaviour in the one-shot game. Many real-world dilemma situations, however, firstly, take place in groups and, secondly, lack the necessary transparency to inform subjects reliably of others' individual past actions. Instead, there is revelation of information regarding groups, which allows for "group scoring" but not for image scoring. Here, we study how sensitive the positive results related to image scoring are to information based on group scoring. We combine analytic results and computer simulations to specify the conditions for the emergence of cooperation. We show that under pure group scoring, that is, under the complete absence of image-scoring information, cooperation is unsustainable. Away from this extreme case, however, the necessary degree of image scoring relative to group scoring depends on the population size and is generally very small. We thus conclude that the positive results based on image scoring apply to a much broader range of informational settings that are relevant in the real world than previously assumed.
Keywords: public goods, group interactions, phase transition, social dilemma, physics of social systems
Published: 23.06.2017; Views: 926; Downloads: 379
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10.
Spreading of cooperative behaviour across interdependent groups
Luo-Luo Jiang, Matjaž Perc, 2013, original scientific article

Abstract: Recent empirical research has shown that links between groups reinforce individuals within groups to adopt cooperative behaviour. Moreover, links between networks may induce cascading failures, competitive percolation, or contribute to efficient transportation. Here we show that there in fact exists an intermediate fraction of links between groups that is optimal for the evolution of cooperation in the prisoners dilemma game. We consider individual groups with regular, random, and scale-free topology, and study their different combinations to reveal that an intermediate interdependence optimally facilitates the spreading of cooperative behaviour between groups. Excessive between-group links simply unify the two groups and make them act as one, while too rare between-group links preclude a useful information flow between the two groups. Interestingly, we find that between-group links are more likely to connect two cooperators than in-group links, thus supporting the conclusion that they are of paramount importance.
Keywords: social dilemma, cooperation, public goods, biased utility, interdependent networks, statistical physics of social systems
Published: 23.06.2017; Views: 1050; Downloads: 321
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