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Fence-sitters protect cooperation in complex networks

Zhang, Y; Aziz-Alaoui, MA; Bertelle, C; Zhou, S; Wang, W; (2013) Fence-sitters protect cooperation in complex networks. Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics , 88 (3) , Article 032127. 10.1103/PhysRevE.88.032127. Green open access

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Evolutionary game theory is one of the key paradigms behind many scientific disciplines from science to engineering. In complex networks, because of the difficulty of formulating the replicator dynamics, most of the previous studies are confined to a numerical level. In this paper, we introduce a vectorial formulation to derive three classes of individuals' payoff analytically. The three classes are pure cooperators, pure defectors, and fence-sitters. Here, fence-sitters are the individuals who change their strategies at least once in the strategy evolutionary process. As a general approach, our vectorial formalization can be applied to all the two-strategy games. To clarify the function of the fence-sitters, we define a parameter, payoff memory, as the number of rounds that the individuals' payoffs are aggregated. We observe that the payoff memory can control the fence-sitters' effects and the level of cooperation efficiently. Our results indicate that the fence-sitters' role is nontrivial in the complex topologies, which protects cooperation in an indirect way. Our results may provide a better understanding of the composition of cooperators in a circumstance where the temptation to defect is larger. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Type: Article
Title: Fence-sitters protect cooperation in complex networks
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.88.032127
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.88.032127
Language: English
Additional information: ©2013 American Physical Society
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1407033
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