Dynamics to Equilibrium in Network Games: Individual Behavior and Global Response Articles uri icon

publication date

  • March 2015

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 15

issue

  • 3

volume

  • 10

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1932-6203

abstract

  • Various social contexts can be depicted as games of strategic interactions on networks, where an individual's welfare depends on both her and her partners' actions. Whereas much attention has been devoted to Bayes-Nash equilibria in such games, here we look at strategic interactions from an evolutionary perspective. To this end, we present the results of a numerical simulations program for these games, which allows us to find out whether Nash equilibria are accessible by adaptation of player strategies, and in general to identify the attractors of the evolution. Simulations allow us to go beyond a global characterization of the cooperativeness at equilibrium and probe into individual behavior. We find that when players imitate each other, evolution does not reach Nash equilibria and, worse, leads to very unfavorable states in terms of welfare. On the contrary, when players update their behavior rationally, they self-organize into a rich variety of Nash equilibria, where individual behavior and payoffs are shaped by the nature of the game, the social network's structure and the players' position within the network. Our results allow to assess the validity of mean-field approaches we use to describe the dynamics of these games. Interestingly, our dynamically-found equilibria generally do not coincide with (but show qualitatively the same features of) those resulting from theoretical predictions in the context of one-shot games under incomplete information.