A study of indirect reciprocity involving a reputation system or a simple tag system in a one-shot, multi-player game

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The possibility of the evolution of cooperation backed by indirect reciprocity (IDR) in a one-shot, multi-player game is investigated focusing on two mechanisms. First of all, the reputation system with image score (RS with IS), as proposed by Nowak and Sigmund [Nowak, M.A., Sigmund, K., 1998. Evolution of indirect reciprocity by image scoring. Nature 393, 573-577], is investigated in various game structures. A numerical experiment demonstrates that the RS with IS is a robust mechanism for the support of IDR in various dilemma games, but whose effectiveness decreases with an increase in the number of players in a game. It is fair to say that the RS is an information mapping function to relate between player's cooperative fraction on his action and IS. As the second mechanism, a simple tag system which could be applicable to animals having no cognitive complexity is considered to support IDR. Computer simulations of the tag system's strategy for invading a population initially consisting of AllD, AllC, and Random strategies suggest several novel facts. The Tag strategy with plausible crossover and mutation probabilities can only invade to settle down if the game structure is not Trivial and contains a moderate dilemma. The Tag strategy's evolutionary competition takes place mainly in the presence of the AllD strategy. During the competition, the Tag strategy frequently metamorphoses to shake off the AllD strategy, but stops after winning in order to avoid a shrinking payoff due to fragmentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)856-869
Number of pages14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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