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Promoting cooperation by preventing exploitation: The role of network structure

: Utkovski, Z.; Stojkoski, V.; Basnarkov, L.; Kocarev, L.


Physical Review. E 96 (2017), Nr.2, Art. 022315
ISSN: 1063-651X
ISSN: 1539-3755
ISSN: 2470-0045
ISSN: 2470-0053
ISSN: 1550-2376
Fraunhofer HHI ()

A growing body of empirical evidence indicates that social and cooperative behavior can be affected by cognitive and neurological factors, suggesting the existence of state-based decision-making mechanisms that may have emerged by evolution. Motivated by these observations, we propose a simple mechanism of anonymous network interactions identified as a form of generalized reciprocity-a concept organized around the premise "help anyone if helped by someone'-and study its dynamics on random graphs. In the presence of such a mechanism, the evolution of cooperation is related to the dynamics of the levels of investments (i.e., probabilities of cooperation) of the individual nodes engaging in interactions. We demonstrate that the propensity for cooperation is determined by a network centrality measure here referred to as neighborhood importance index and discuss relevant implications to natural and artificial systems. To address the robustness of the state-based strategies to an invasion of defectors, we additionally provide an analysis which redefines the results for the case when a fraction of the nodes behave as unconditional defectors.