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Science. 2004 Feb 6;303(5659):793-9.

Evolutionary dynamics of biological games.

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  • 1Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, Department of Mathematics, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, 1 Brattle Square, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. martin_nowak@harvard.edu

Abstract

Darwinian dynamics based on mutation and selection form the core of mathematical models for adaptation and coevolution of biological populations. The evolutionary outcome is often not a fitness-maximizing equilibrium but can include oscillations and chaos. For studying frequency-dependent selection, game-theoretic arguments are more appropriate than optimization algorithms. Replicator and adaptive dynamics describe short- and long-term evolution in phenotype space and have found applications ranging from animal behavior and ecology to speciation, macroevolution, and human language. Evolutionary game theory is an essential component of a mathematical and computational approach to biology.

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