Cooperation can emerge in prisoner's dilemma from a multi-species predator prey replicator dynamic

Elisabeth Paulson, Christopher Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In this paper we study a generalized variation of the replicator dynamic that involves several species and sub-species that may interact. We show how this dynamic comes about from a specific finite-population model, but also show that one must take into consideration the dynamic nature of the population sizes (and hence proportions) in order to make the model complete. We provide expressions for these population dynamics to produce a kind of multi-replicator dynamic. We then use this replicator dynamic to show that cooperation can emerge as a stable behavior when two species each play prisoner's dilemma as their intra-species game and a form of zero-sum predator prey game as their inter-species game. General necessary and sufficient conditions for cooperation to emerge as stable are provided for a number of game classes. We also showed an example using Hawk–Dove where both species can converge to stable (asymmetric) mixed strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-62
Number of pages7
JournalMathematical Biosciences
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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