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Cooperation dynamics of generalized reciprocity in state-based social dilemmas

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


Physical Review. E 97 (2018), Nr.5, Art.052305
ISSN: 1063-651X
ISSN: 1539-3755
ISSN: 2470-0045
ISSN: 2470-0053
ISSN: 1550-2376
Fraunhofer HHI ()

We introduce a framework for studying social dilemmas in networked societies where individuals follow a simple state-based behavioral mechanism based on generalized reciprocity, which is rooted in the principle “help anyone if helped by someone.” Within this general framework, which applies to a wide range of social dilemmas including, among others, public goods, donation, and snowdrift games, we study the cooperation dynamics on a variety of complex network examples. By interpreting the studied model through the lenses of nonlinear dynamical systems, we show that cooperation through generalized reciprocity always emerges as the unique attractor in which the overall level of cooperation is maximized, while simultaneously exploitation of the participating individuals is prevented. The analysis elucidates the role of the network structure, here captured by a local centrality measure which uniquely quantifies the propensity of the network structure to cooperation by dictating the degree of cooperation displayed both at the microscopic and macroscopic level. We demonstrate the applicability of the analysis on a practical example by considering an interaction structure that couples a donation process with a public goods game.