Evolutionary dynamics of time-resolved social interactions

Cardillo, Alessio; Petri, Giovanni; Nicosia, Vincenzo; Sinatra, Roberta; Gómez-Gardeñes, Jesús; Latora, Vito
Cooperation among unrelated individuals is frequently observed in social groups when their members join efforts and resources to obtain a shared benefit which is unachievable by single ones. owever, understanding why cooperation arises despite the natural tendency of individuals towards selfish behavior is still an open problem and represents one of the most fascinating challenges in volutionary dynamics. Very recently, the structural characterization of the networks upon which social interactions take place has shed some light on the mechanisms by which cooperative behavior emerges and eventually overcome the individual temptation to defect. In particular, it has been found that the heterogeneity in the number of social ties and the presence of tightly-knit communities lead to a significant increase of cooperation as compared with the unstructured and homogeneous connection patterns considered in classical evolutionary dynamics. Here we investigate the role of social ties dynamics for the emergence of cooperation in a family of social dilemmas. Social interactions are in fact intrinsically dynamic, fluctuating and intermittent over time, and can be represented by time-varying networks, that is graphs where connections between nodes appear, disappear, or are rewired over time. By considering two experimental data sets of human interactions with detailed time information, we show that the temporal dynamics of social ties has a dramatic impact on the evolution of cooperation: the dynamics of pairwise interactions favor selfish behavior.
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