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Identification of influential invaders in evolutionary populations

The identification of the most influential nodes has been a vibrant subject of research across the whole of network science. Here we map this problem to structured evolutionary populations, where strategies and the interaction network are both subject to change over time based on social inheritance. We study cooperative communities, which cheaters can invade because they avoid the cost of contributions that are associated with cooperation. The question that we seek to answer is at which nodes cheaters invade most successfully.

We propose the weighted degree decomposition to identify and rank the most influential invaders. More specifically, we distinguish two kinds of ranking based on the weighted degree decomposition. We show that a ranking strategy based on negative-weighted degree allows to successfully identify the most influential invaders in the case of weak selection, while a ranking strategy based on positive-weighted degree performs better when the selection is strong. Our research thus reveals how to identify the most influential invaders based on statistical measures in dynamically evolving cooperative communities.


G. Yang, T. P. Benko, M. Cavaliere, J. Huang, M. PercIdentification of influential invaders in evolutionary populations, Scientific Reports 9 (2019) 7305

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