Coevolutionary resolution of the public goods dilemma in interdependent structured populations
We study the coevolution of strategies and network interdependence in the context of a public goods dilemma. Specifically, players occupy the nodes of a network and engage in public goods games, with a twist that those who post a good result in terms of payoff are allowed to form external links with players from another network. These external links may bring additional utilities to players. Moreover, the links between players on different networks become stronger if players keep posting good results, but weaken otherwise.
By means of Monte Carlo simulations, we show that, as long as the benchmark for recognition is neither too high nor too low, a “wave of heterogeneity” gives rise to cross-network links with a wide range of different strengths. This spontaneous emergence of heterogeneity seeds strong cooperative clusters that protect cooperators from the invasions of defectors. Ultimately, cooperation prevails, thus revealing a resolution of the public goods dilemma in structured populations.
C. Shen, C. Chu, L. Shi, M. Jusup, M. Perc, Z. Wang, Coevolutionary resolution of the public goods dilemma in interdependent structured populations, Europhysics Letters Vol 124, No 4 (2018)