Realistic decision-making processes in a vaccination game

Yoshiro Iwamura, Jun Tanimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies of vaccination games have nearly always assumed a pairwise comparison between a focal and neighboring player for the strategy updating rule, which comes from numerous compiled studies on spatial versions of 2-player and 2-strategy (2 × 2) games such as the spatial prisoner's dilemma (SPD). We propose, in this study, new update rules because the human decision-making process of whether to commit to a vaccination is obviously influenced by a “sense of crisis” or “fear” urging him/her toward vaccination, otherwise they will likely be infected. The rule assumes that an agent evaluates whether getting a vaccination or trying to free ride should be attempted based on observations of whether neighboring non-vaccinators were able to successfully free ride during the previous time-step. Compared to the conventional updating rule (standard pairwise comparison assuming a Fermi function), the new rules generally realize higher vaccination coverage and smaller final epidemic sizes. One rule in particular shows very good performance with significantly smaller epidemic sizes despite comparable levels of vaccination coverage. This is because the specific update rule helps vaccinators spread widely in the domain, which effectively hampers the spread of epidemics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-241
Number of pages6
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Realistic decision-making processes in a vaccination game'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this