On the Evolution of Imitative Behavior
We analyze the evolution of behavioral rules for learning how to play a two-armed bandit. Individuals have no information about the underlying pay-off distributions and have limited memory about their own past experience. Instead they must rely on information obtained through observing the per-formance of other individuals. Evolution is modelled using the replicator dynamic with the revision behaviors as replicators. We find that evolution favors a special class of imitative rules. These so-called strictly improving rules (Schlag, 1996) are found to be neutrally stable when facing any two-armed bandit. Further emphasis is put on which rules survive when.
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- Schlag, Karl H., 1998.
"Why Imitate, and If So, How?, : A Boundedly Rational Approach to Multi-armed Bandits,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 130-156, January.
- Karl H. Schlag, "undated". "Why Imitate, and if so, How? A Bounded Rational Approach to Multi- Armed Bandits," ELSE working papers 028, ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and Social Evolution.
- Schlag, Karl H., 1994. "Why Imitate, and if so, How? Exploring a Model of Social Evolution," Discussion Paper Serie B 296, University of Bonn, Germany.
- Karl H. Schlag, 1995. "Why Imitate, and if so, How? A Bounded Rational Approach to Multi-Armed Bandits," Discussion Paper Serie B 361, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Mar 1996.
- Dekel, Eddie & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1992. "On the evolution of optimizing behavior," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 392-406, August.