Restricted connections among distinguished players support cooperation

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112 Citations (Scopus)


We study the evolution of cooperation within the spatial prisoner's dilemma game on a square lattice where a fraction of players μ can spread their strategy more easily than the rest due to a predetermined larger teaching capability. In addition, players characterized by the larger teaching capability are allowed to temporarily link with distant opponents of the same kind with probability p, thus introducing shortcut connections among the distinguished players. We show that these additional temporary connections are able to sustain cooperation throughout the whole range of the temptation to defect. Remarkably, we observe that, as the temptation to defect increases the optimal μ decreases, and moreover only minute values of p warrant the best promotion of cooperation. Our study thus indicates that influential individuals must be few and sparsely connected in order for cooperation to thrive in a defection-prone environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number066101
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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