Christoly Biely, Klaus Dragosits, Stefan Thurner

Paper #: 05-06-022

We consider the prisoner's dilemma being played repeatedly on a dynamic network, where agents may choose their actions as well as their co-players. In the course of the evolution of the system, agents act fully rationally and base their decisions only on local information. Individual decisions are made such that links to defecting agents are resolved and that cooperating agents build up links, as new interrelations are established via a process of recommendation. The dynamics introduced thereby lead to periods of growing cooperation and growing total linkage, as well as to periods of increasing defection and decreasing total linkage, quickly following each other if the players are perfectly synchronized. The cyclical behavior is lost and the system is stabilized when agents react 'slower' to new information. Our results show that within a fully rational setting the prisoner's dilemma leads to overall cooperation. It thus loses much of its fatality when a larger range of dynamics of social interaction is taken into account. We comment on the network structures emerging from the interaction dynamics.