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Concept# Evolutionary game theory

Summary

Evolutionary game theory (EGT) is the application of game theory to evolving populations in biology. It defines a framework of contests, strategies, and analytics into which Darwinian competition can be modelled. It originated in 1973 with John Maynard Smith and George R. Price's formalisation of contests, analysed as strategies, and the mathematical criteria that can be used to predict the results of competing strategies.
Evolutionary game theory differs from classical game theory in focusing more on the dynamics of strategy change. This is influenced by the frequency of the competing strategies in the population.
Evolutionary game theory has helped to explain the basis of altruistic behaviours in Darwinian evolution. It has in turn become of interest to economists, sociologists, anthropologists, and philosophers.
Game theory
Classical non-cooperative game theory was conceived by John von Neumann to determine optimal strategies in competitions between adversaries. A contest involves players, all of whom have a choice of moves. Games can be a single round or repetitive. The approach a player takes in making their moves constitutes their strategy. Rules govern the outcome for the moves taken by the players, and outcomes produce payoffs for the players; rules and resulting payoffs can be expressed as decision trees or in a payoff matrix. Classical theory requires the players to make rational choices. Each player must consider the strategic analysis that their opponents are making to make their own choice of moves.
Evolutionary game theory started with the problem of how to explain ritualized animal behaviour in a conflict situation; "why are animals so 'gentlemanly or ladylike' in contests for resources?" The leading ethologists Niko Tinbergen and Konrad Lorenz proposed that such behaviour exists for the benefit of the species. John Maynard Smith considered that incompatible with Darwinian thought, where selection occurs at an individual level, so self-interest is rewarded while seeking the common good is not.

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Evolutionary game theory

Evolutionary game theory (EGT) is the application of game theory to evolving populations in biology. It defines a framework of contests, strategies, and analytics into which Darwinian competition can be modelled. It originated in 1973 with John Maynard Smith and George R. Price's formalisation of contests, analysed as strategies, and the mathematical criteria that can be used to predict the results of competing strategies. Evolutionary game theory differs from classical game theory in focusing more on the dynamics of strategy change.

Chicken (game)

The game of chicken, also known as the hawk–dove game or snowdrift game, is a model of conflict for two players in game theory. The principle of the game is that while the ideal outcome is for one player to yield (to avoid the worst outcome if neither yields), the individuals try to avoid it out of pride for not wanting to look like a "chicken". Each player taunts the other to increase the risk of shame in yielding. However, when one player yields, the conflict is avoided, and the game is for the most part over.

Evolutionarily stable strategy

An evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) is a strategy (or set of strategies) that is impermeable when adopted by a population in adaptation to a specific environment, that is to say it cannot be displaced by an alternative strategy (or set of strategies) which may be novel or initially rare. Introduced by John Maynard Smith and George R. Price in 1972/3, it is an important concept in behavioural ecology, evolutionary psychology, mathematical game theory and economics, with applications in other fields such as anthropology, philosophy and political science.

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Despite the large number of studies on synchronization, the hypothesis that interactions bear a cost for involved individuals has seldom been considered. The introduction of costly interactions leads,