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Repeated games and direct reciprocity under active linking

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Pacheco, J. M., Traulsen, A., Ohtsuki, H., & Nowak, M. A. (2008). Repeated games and direct reciprocity under active linking. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 250(4), 723-731. doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2007.10.040.

Direct reciprocity relies on repeated encounters between the same two individuals. Here we examine the evolution of cooperation under direct reciprocity in dynamically structured populations. Individuals occupy the vertices of a graph, undergoing repeated interactions with their partners via the edges of the graph. Unlike the traditional approach to evolutionary game theory, where individuals meet at random and have no control over the frequency or duration of interactions, we consider a model in which individuals differ in the rate at which they seek new interactions. Moreover, once a link between two individuals has formed, the productivity of this link is evaluated. Links can be broken off at different rates. Whenever the active dynamics of links is sufficiently fast, population structure leads to a simple transformation of the payoff matrix, effectively changing the game under consideration, and hence paving the way for reciprocators to dominate defectors. We derive analytical conditions for evolutionary stability. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.