Snowdrift Game

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Page to be developed by Marc Fawzi.


Description

"The term "snowdrift game" is a model in evolutionary game theory that explains how cooperation is evolutionarily advantageous (contrary to the classical interpretation of the survivalist model) but only in meshes (according to the latest work done in this field) while it fails in hierarchies (i.e. leads to the extinction of those who provide unpaid cooperation) ... It turns out the other model called the Prisoner's Dilemma is optimal in hierarchies but it is a classical survivalist model."


Context/Motivation

Marc Fawzi:

"I want to put the "snowdrift game + mesh WORKS_BETTER_THAN prisoner's dilemma + hierarchy" game theory meme out there, and my belief is that "renewable hierarchies" (which i had described as being similar to, e.g. US Congress, EU Parliament, etc) operate more like a mesh from a game theoretical perspective because they could theoretically lead to well-mixed population in the production organization (as workers are replaced frequently) but now I realize that in order to get a well-mixed population the hierarchy has to be as flat as possible from the management and organizational views (without losing coordination) to minimize hierarchical interactions and maximize mesh interaction and the renewal of workers in the production hierarchy has to happen as frequently as possible..." (email, April 2009)


More Information

  1. Marc Fawzi: this is a good introductory article but is not very precise or thorough in the way it presents the concept and its implications, see http://www.ts-si.org/evolution/4507-meshing-cooperative-behaviors-with-evolutionary-theory.html
  2. http://www.univie.ac.at/virtuallabs/Snowdrift/