Computational Ecology and Software, 2015, 5(4): 299-316
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Effect of spatial structure on the evolution of cooperation based on game models

Hui Zhang1, Meng Gao2
1Department of Applied Mathematics, School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710027, China
2Key Laboratory of Coastal Environmental Processes and Ecological Remediation, Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yantai, 264003, China

Received 25 July 2015;Accepted 3 August 2015;Published online 1 December 2015

To elucidate the mechanisms for the evolution of cooperation has been a core problem in biology, economics and sociology. Evolutionary game theory has proven to be an efficient approach to investigate the problem by using models based on so-called social dilemmas. Spatial structure is indicated to have an important effect on the evolution of cooperation and has been intensively studied during recent years. From this perspective, we review our studies in evolutionary dynamics based on a repeated game with three strategies, 'always defect' (ALLD), 'tit-for-tat' (TFT), and 'always cooperate' (ALLC). With mathematical analysis and numerical simulations, the results show that cooperation can be promoted in spatially-structured populations. Cooperators prevail against defectors by forming stable clusters, which is called the `spatial selection'. Meanwhile, lattice structure also inhibits cooperation due to the advantage of being spiteful. Furthermore, simulations demonstrate that a slight enforcement of ALLC can only promote cooperation when there is weak network reciprocity, while the catalyst effect of TFT on cooperation is verified.

Keywords evolutionary game theory;social dilemma;spatial structure;repeated game;enforcement;network reciprocity.

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