Forgiver triumphs in alternating prisoner's dilemma

Zagorsky, Benjamin M and Reiter, Johannes G and Chatterjee, Krishnendu and Nowak, Martin A (2013) Forgiver triumphs in alternating prisoner's dilemma. PLoS One, 8 (12). Article No. e80814. ISSN 1932-6203

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Cooperative behavior, where one individual incurs a cost to help another, is a wide spread phenomenon. Here we study direct reciprocity in the context of the alternating Prisoner's Dilemma. We consider all strategies that can be implemented by one and two-state automata. We calculate the payoff matrix of all pairwise encounters in the presence of noise. We explore deterministic selection dynamics with and without mutation. Using different error rates and payoff values, we observe convergence to a small number of distinct equilibria. Two of them are uncooperative strict Nash equilibria representing always-defect (ALLD) and Grim. The third equilibrium is mixed and represents a cooperative alliance of several strategies, dominated by a strategy which we call Forgiver. Forgiver cooperates whenever the opponent has cooperated; it defects once when the opponent has defected, but subsequently Forgiver attempts to re-establish cooperation even if the opponent has defected again. Forgiver is not an evolutionarily stable strategy, but the alliance, which it rules, is asymptotically stable. For a wide range of parameter values the most commonly observed outcome is convergence to the mixed equilibrium, dominated by Forgiver. Our results show that although forgiving might incur a short-term loss it can lead to a long-term gain. Forgiveness facilitates stable cooperation in the presence of exploitation and noise.

Item Type: Article
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080814
Subjects: 000 Computer science, knowledge & general works > 000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Research Group: Chatterjee Group
SWORD Depositor: Sword Import User
Depositing User: Sword Import User
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2016 15:19
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2017 14:41

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