IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/jas/jasssj/2012-22-2.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Tag-Mediated Altruism is Contingent on How Cheaters Are Defined

Author

Abstract

Cooperation is essential for complex biological and social systems and explaining its evolutionary origins remains a central question in several disciplines. Tag systems are a class of models demonstrating the evolution of cooperation between selfish replicators. A number of previous models have been presented but they have not been widely explored. Though previous researchers have concentrated on the effects of one or several parameters of tag models, exploring exactly what is meant by cheating in a tag system has received little attention. Here we re-implement three previous models of tag-mediated altruism and introduce four definitions of cheaters. Previous models have used what we consider weaker versions of cheaters that may not exploit cooperators to the degree possible, or to the degree observed in natural systems. We find that the level of altruism that evolves in a population is highly contingent on how cheaters are defined. In particular when cheaters are defined as agents that display an appropriate tag but have no mechanism for participating in altruistic acts themselves, a population is quickly invaded by cheaters and all altruism collapses. Even in the intermediate case where cheaters may revert back to a tag-tolerance mode of interaction, only minimal levels of altruism evolve. Our results suggest that models of tag-mediated altruism using stronger types of cheaters may require additional mechanisms, such as punishment strategies or multi-level selection, to evolve meaningful levels of altruism.

Suggested Citation

  • Shade T. Shutters & David Hales, 2013. "Tag-Mediated Altruism is Contingent on How Cheaters Are Defined," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 16(1), pages 1-4.
  • Handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2012-22-2
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/16/1/4/4.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2012-22-2. 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: (Flaminio Squazzoni). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.