The replicator dynamics of zero-sum games arise from a novel poisson algebra

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We show that the replicator dynamics for zero-sum games arises as a result of a non-canonical bracket that is a hybrid between a Poisson Bracket and a Nambu Bracket. The resulting non-canonical bracket is parameterized both the by the skew-symmetric payoff matrix and a mediating function. The mediating function is only sometimes a conserved quantity, but plays a critical role in the determination of the dynamics. As a by-product, we show that for the replicator dynamics this function arises in the definition of a natural metric on which phase flow-volume is preserved. Additionally, we show that the non-canonical bracket satisfies all the same identities as the Poisson bracket except for the Jacobi identity (JI), which is satisfied for special cases of the mediating function. In particular, the mediating function that gives rise to the replicator dynamics yields a bracket that satisfies JI. This neatly explains why the mediating function allows us to derive a metric on which phase flow is conserved and suggests a natural geometry for zero-sum games that extends the Symplectic geometry of the Poisson bracket and potentially an alternate approach to quantizing evolutionary games.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111508
JournalChaos, Solitons and Fractals
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • General Mathematics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Applied Mathematics


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