Eco-evolutionary dynamics of cooperation in the presence of policing.


Nag Chowdhury S(1), Kundu S(1), Banerjee J(2), Perc M(3), Ghosh D(4).
Author information:
(1)Physics and Applied Mathematics Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, 203 B. T. Road, Kolkata 700108, India.
(2)BYJU'S, Think & Learn Pvt. Ltd., IBC Knowledge Park, 4/1 Bannerghatta Main Road, Bangalore 560029, India. Electronic address: [Email]
(3)Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Maribor, Koroška cesta 160, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia; Department of Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan; Complexity Science Hub Vienna, Josefstädterstraße 39, 1080 Vienna, Austria. Electronic address: [Email]
(4)Physics and Applied Mathematics Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, 203 B. T. Road, Kolkata 700108, India. Electronic address: [Email]


Ecology and evolution are inherently linked, and studying a mathematical model that considers both holds promise of insightful discoveries related to the dynamics of cooperation. In the present article, we use the prisoner's dilemma (PD) game as a basis for long-term apprehension of the essential social dilemma related to cooperation among unrelated individuals. We upgrade the contemporary PD game with an inclusion of evolution-induced act of punishment as a third competing strategy in addition to the traditional cooperators and defectors. In a population structure, the abundance of ecologically-viable free space often regulates the reproductive opportunities of the constituents. Hence, additionally, we consider the availability of free space as an ecological footprint, thus arriving at a simple eco-evolutionary model, which displays fascinating complex dynamics. As possible outcomes, we report the individual dominance of cooperators and defectors as well as a plethora of mixed states, where different strategies coexist followed by maintaining the diversity in a socio-ecological framework. These states can either be steady or oscillating, whereby oscillations are sustained by cyclic dominance among different combinations of cooperators, defectors, and punishers. We also observe a novel route to cyclic dominance where cooperators, punishers, and defectors enter a coexistence via an inverse Hopf bifurcation that is followed by an inverse period doubling route.