Metastability and anomalous fixation in evolutionary games on scale-free networks

Michael Assaf*, Mauro Mobilia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We study the influence of complex graphs on the metastability and fixation properties of a set of evolutionary processes. In the framework of evolutionary game theory, where the fitness and selection are frequency dependent and vary with the population composition, we analyze the dynamics of snowdrift games (characterized by a metastable coexistence state) on scale-free networks. Using an effective diffusion theory in the weak selection limit, we demonstrate how the scale-free structure affects the system's metastable state and leads to anomalous fixation. In particular, we analytically and numerically show that the probability and mean time of fixation are characterized by stretched- exponential behaviors with exponents depending on the network's degree distribution.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number188701
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number18
StatePublished - 31 Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


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