How cooperation emerges in competing populations (Vol. 47 No. 5-6)

The fraction of cooperative players as a function of the site-occupancy probability ρ obtained using numerical simulations.

New theoretical approach to understand the dynamics of populations reaching consensus votes or of spreading epidemics

Social behaviour like reaching a consensus is a matter of cooperation. However, individuals in populations often spontaneously compete and only cooperate under certain conditions. These problems are so ubiquitous that physicists have now developed models to understand the underlying logic that drives competition. A new study published recently shows the dynamics of competing agents with an evolving tendency to collaborate that are linked through a network modelled as a disordered square lattice. These results are the work of the authors. They believe that their theoretical framework can be applied to many other problems related to understanding the dynamical processes in complex systems and networked populations, such as the voter dynamics involved in reaching a consensus and spreading dynamics in epidemic models and in social networks.

C. Xu, W. Zhang, P. Du, C.W. Choi and P.M. Hui, Understanding cooperative behavior in structurally disordered populations, Eur. Phys. J. B 89, 152 (2016)