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J Theor Biol. 1999 Oct 21;200(4):405-17.

Evolution of cooperation in spatially structured populations

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Zoology Institute, University of Basel, Rheinsprung 9, Basel, CH-4051, Switzerland.


Using a spatial lattice model of the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma we studied the evolution of cooperation within the strategy space of all stochastic strategies with a memory of one round. Comparing the spatial model with a randomly mixed model showed that (1) there is more cooperative behaviour in a spatially structured population, (2) PAVLOV and generous variants of it are very successful strategies in the spatial context and (3) in spatially structured populations evolution is much less chaotic than in unstructured populations. In spatially structured populations, generous variants of PAVLOV are found to be very successful strategies in playing the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma. The main weakness of PAVLOV is that it is exploitable by defective strategies. In a spatial context this disadvantage is much less important than the good error correction of PAVLOV, and especially of generous PAVLOV, because in a spatially structured population successful strategies always build clusters.


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