New paper in New Journal of Physics

My work with Dirk Helbing entitled “Topological enslavement in evolutionary games on correlated multiplex networks” has now been published in New Journal of Physics. You can read the paper at

Abstract: Governments and enterprises strongly rely on incentives to generate favorable outcomes from social and strategic interactions between individuals. The incentives are usually modeled by payoffs in evolutionary games, such as the prisoners dilemma or the harmony game, with imitation dynamics. Adjusting the incentives by changing the payoff parameters can favor cooperation, as found in the harmony game, over defection, which prevails in the prisoner’s dilemma. Here, we show that this is not always the case if individuals engage in strategic interactions in multiple domains. In particular, we investigate evolutionary games on multiplex networks where individuals obtain an aggregate payoff. We explicitly control the strength of degree correlations between nodes in the different layers of the multiplex. We find that if the multiplex is composed of many layers and degree correlations are strong, the topology of the system enslaves the dynamics and the final outcome, cooperation or defection, becomes independent of the payoff parameters. The fate of the system is then determined by the initial conditions.


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