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Optimization of mobile individuals promotes cooperation in social dilemmas

We study how mobile individuals affect the evolution of cooperation in social dilemmas. In doing so, we consider two types of players. The traditional type simply copies the most successful strategy in its neighborhood in order to improve its future payoff, while the advantageous type moves away in the hope of settling in a better community.


We show that the introduction of the advantageous type leads to larger and more compact cooperative clusters in the prisoner’s dilemma game. This in turn facilitates the evolutionary stability of cooperation even under adverse conditions that are characterized by high temptations to defect. We also verify that the average payoff of a community unit remains proportional to the number of cooperators in this community, which hence indicates that the players pursuing mobility to attain a competitive advantage also foster cooperation in their new communities. Another way to communicate this result in the light of the costs associated with moving is to say that optimal mobility, such that yields higher payoffs to the individual who moved and the community as a whole, is similar to the optimization of the allocation of limited resources.


We thus hope that these results will shed new light on how to effectively allocate resources and how to optimize mobility for optimal cooperation.


W. Li, L. Jiang, Z. Chen, M. Perc, M. Slavinec, Optimization of mobile individuals promotes cooperation in social dilemmas, Chaos, Solitons & Franctals 141 (2020) 110425

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