A formal analysis of the evolution of cooperation

by Jonathan Cave

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This paper examines a formal model of the way a growing population selects behavior, in a way that permits discussion of the stability of various regimes of behavior (non-cooperative, "tit-for-tat") in terms of population size and behavior. The paper presents the model and definitions and examines the evolution of cooperative behavior for the special case of a static population; combines the dynamics of behavior with those of population growth; and relates its results to results of repeated play where players are rational.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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