Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Influence of Evolutionary Selection Schemes on the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma


Author Info

  • David van Bragt

    (CWI Amsterdam)

  • Cees van Kemenade

    (CWI Amsterdam)

  • Han La Poutre

    (CWI Amsterdam)


We study Genetic Algorithms (GA) to simulate the emergence of cooperation in nonzero-sum and noncooperative competitions between different agents. The evolution of cooperation is not obvious in here since, in "nonzero-sum" competition, the benefits of one agent are not necessarily equal to the penalties of the other. Further, in "noncooperative" situations both participants have no information about their opponent's strategy. A famous and elegant example of a nonzero-sum/noncooperative competition is the so-called prisoner's dilemma (PD). A very interesting variate of the single-round PD game is the iterated PD (IPD) game, in which two players repeatedly play a PD. Under these conditions, the optimal strategy for a player depends on the policy of the opponent, as is often the case in real-life negotiations (e.g., oligopolistic price setting in the economic field or the nuclear arms race in the political arena). The analysis of IPDs using GAs has proved to be a very appealing technique to many. In previous studies, however, only strictly generational selection schemes are considered: after each generation, all parent strategies are replaced by offspring strategies. As is well known, the particular choice of GA selection scheme strongly affects the evolution of the population and the quality of the evolved strategies. Hence, in this study, we systematically assess the strong influence of various alternative selection schemes on the evolution of IPD strategies. The performance of an elitist selection scheme (only accepting offspring superior to parents) is evaluated. We also apply schemes intermediate to strictly generational and elitist schemes in which parents have a finite maximum life span. Simulations show the strong impact of the various evolutionary selection schemes on the dynamics of the population. This indicates the possible sensitivity of the level of cooperation in economic markets to the actual selection of the individual agents. Further work, especially using more detailed economic models, is hence strongly recommended.

Download Info

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Computational Economics in its series Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 with number 344.

as in new window
Date of creation: 01 Mar 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf9:344

Contact details of provider:
Postal: CEF99, Boston College, Department of Economics, Chestnut Hill MA 02467 USA
Fax: +1-617-552-2308
Web page:
More information through EDIRC

Related research


Other versions of this item:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Ken Binmore & Nir Vulkan, 1999. "Applying game theory to automated negotiation," Netnomics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-9, October.
  2. Riechmann, Thomas, 1997. "Learning and Behavoiral Stability - An Economic Interpretation of Genetic Algorithms," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-209, Leibniz Universit├Ąt Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakult├Ąt.
  3. Miller, John H., 1996. "The coevolution of automata in the repeated Prisoner's Dilemma," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 87-112, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Waltman, L. & van Eck, N.J.P., 2009. "A Mathematical Analysis of the Long-run Behavior of Genetic Algorithms for Social Modeling," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2009-011-LIS, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
  2. Waltman, L. & van Eck, N.J.P. & Dekker, R. & Kaymak, U., 2009. "Economic Modeling Using Evolutionary Algorithms: The Effect of a Binary Encoding of Strategies," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2009-028-LIS, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
  3. D.D.B. Bragt, van & J. A. La Poutr & E. H. Gerding, 2000. "Equilibrium Selection In Evolutionary Bargaining Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 323, Society for Computational Economics.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sce:scecf9:344. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.