- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
Game theory formalizes certain interactions between physical particles or between living beings in biology, sociology, and economics and quantifies the outcomes by payoffs. The prisoner’s dilemma (PD) describes situations in which it is profitable if everybody cooperates rather than defects (free rides or cheats), but as cooperation is risky and defection is tempting, the expected outcome is defection. Nevertheless, some biological and social mechanisms can support cooperation by effectively transforming the payoffs. Here, we study the related phase transitions, which can be of first order (discontinuous) or of second order (continuous), implying a variety of different routes to cooperation. After classifying the transitions into cases of equilibrium displacement, equilibrium selection, and equilibrium creation, we show that a transition to cooperation may take place even if the stationary states and the eigenvalues of the replicator equation for the PD stay unchanged. Our example is based on adaptive group pressure, which makes the payoffs dependent on the endogenous dynamics in the population. The resulting bistability can invert the expected outcome in favor of cooperation. Show more
Journal / seriesPhysical Review E
Pages / Article No.
PublisherAmerican Physical Society
Organisational unit03784 - Helbing, Dirk / Helbing, Dirk
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