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Challenging the evolution of social cooperation in a community governed by central control


  • Presbitero, Alva
  • Monterola, Christopher


Self-organization of cooperative behavior has been particularly interesting especially in communities where selfishness dominates more than social cooperativeness. These situations have often been described by the spatial prisoner’s dilemma game. In reality, however, a centralized control is often necessary to establish social order. But the robustness of this established social cooperation remains unclear. Using the spatial prisoner’s dilemma, we explore the evolution of cooperation not only in a community governed by central control, but also in selfish and realistic (law-abiding but selfish individuals) communities, by introducing two sources of stochasticities: defection-driven noise and stochastic payoff mutations. Individuals could imitate their best-performing neighbors, migrate to better locations, or do both. We show that although the presence of a central control is able to drive and maintain cooperation that is robust even in the presence of noise, social cooperation instantly collapse in the presence of defection-driven noise when migration alone is the only viable option. We also show that stochastic payoff variations enhance cooperation in realistic communities, while selfish communities are highly susceptible to defection-driven noise and stochastic payoff mutations.

Suggested Citation

  • Presbitero, Alva & Monterola, Christopher, 2018. "Challenging the evolution of social cooperation in a community governed by central control," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 511(C), pages 378-388.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:511:y:2018:i:c:p:378-388
    DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2018.08.008

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