Large fluctuations in anti-coordination games on scale-free graphs

Daniel Sabsovich, Mauro Mobilia, Michael Assaf

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3 Scopus citations


We study the influence of the complex topology of scale-free graphs on the dynamics of anti-coordination games (e.g. snowdrift games). These reference models are characterized by the coexistence (evolutionary stable mixed strategy) of two competing species, say 'cooperators' and 'defectors', and, in finite systems, by metastability and large-fluctuation-driven fixation. In this work, we use extensive computer simulations and an effective diffusion approximation (in the weak selection limit) to determine under which circumstances, depending on the individual-based update rules, the topology drastically affects the long-time behavior of anti-coordination games. In particular, we compute the variance of the number of cooperators in the metastable state and the mean fixation time when the dynamics is implemented according to the voter model (death-first/birth-second process) and the link dynamics (birth/death or death/birth at random). For the voter update rule, we show that the scale-free topology effectively renormalizes the population size and as a result the statistics of observables depend on the network's degree distribution. In contrast, such a renormalization does not occur with the link dynamics update rule and we recover the same behavior as on complete graphs.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number053405
JournalJournal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment
Issue number5
StatePublished - 22 May 2017

Bibliographical note

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© 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd and SISSA Medialab srl.


  • evolutionary game theory
  • large deviation
  • networks
  • random graphs
  • stochastic processes


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