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Diverse strategic identities induce dynamical states in evolutionary games

Evolutionary games provide the theoretical backbone for many aspects of our social life: from cooperation to crime, from climate inaction to imperfect vaccination and epidemic spreading, from antibiotics overuse to biodiversity preservation. An important, and so far overlooked, aspect of reality is the diverse strategic identities of individuals. While applying the same strategy to all interaction partners may be an acceptable assumption for simpler forms of life, this fails to account for the behavior of more complex living beings. For instance, we humans act differently around different people.

Here we show that allowing individuals to adopt different strategies with different partners yields a very rich evolutionary dynamics, including time-dependent coexistence of cooperation and defection, systemwide shifts in the dominant strategy, and maturation in individual choices. Our results are robust to variations in network type and size, and strategy updating rules. Accounting for diverse strategic identities thus has far-reaching implications in the mathematical modeling of social games.


I. Senina-Nadal, I. Leyva, M. Perc, D. Papo, M. Jusup, Z. Wang, J. Almendral, P. Manshour, S. Boccaletti, Diverse strategic identities induce dynamical states in evolutionary games, Physical Review Research 2 (4) (2020) 043168

Matjaz Perc

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