Insight into the so-called spatial reciprocity

Zhen Wang, Satoshi Kokubo, Jun Tanimoto, Eriko Fukuda, Keizo Shigaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

211 Citations (Scopus)


Up to now, there have been a great number of studies that demonstrate the effect of spatial topology on the promotion of cooperation dynamics (namely, the so-called "spatial reciprocity"). However, most researchers probably attribute it to the positive assortment of strategies supported by spatial arrangement. In this paper, we analyze the time course of cooperation evolution under different evolution rules. Interestingly, a typical evolution process can be divided into two evident periods: the enduring (END) period and the expanding (EXP) period where the former features that cooperators try to endure defectors' invasion and the latter shows that perfect C clusters fast expand their area. We find that the final cooperation level relies on two key factors: the formation of the perfect C cluster at the end of the END period and the expanding fashion of the perfect C cluster during the EXP period. For deterministic rule, the smooth expansion of C cluster boundaries enables cooperators to reach a dominant state, whereas, the rough boundaries for stochastic rule cannot provide a sufficient beneficial environment for the evolution of cooperation. Moreover, we show that expansion of the perfect C cluster is closely related to the cluster coefficient of interaction topology. To some extent, we present a viable method for understanding the spatial reciprocity mechanism in nature and hope that it will inspire further studies to resolve social dilemmas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number042145
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 29 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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