Evolutionary Games Group

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This is the blog of the evolutionary games group that launched as an extension of the earlier evolutionary game theory reading group at McGill University. It is organized by Artem Kaznatcheev and collaborates closely with Thomas R. Shultz‘s Laboratory for Natural and Simulated Cognition. We are primarily interested in the evolution of ethnocentrism, the interplay of evolution and cognition, and the effects of network topology on evolutionary simulations. Our reading concentrates on papers that apply nice analytic or computational models to questions in EGT. If you are interested in contributing to this project then feel free to email me!

Thomas Shultz
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Marcel Montrey
3 posts

Eric Bolo
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  • January 31, 2015
  • 10:15 AM
  • 46 views

An approach towards ethics: neuroscience and development

by Alexander Yartsev in Evolutionary Games Group

For me personally it has always been a struggle, reading through all the philosophical and religious literature I have a long standing interest in, to verbalize my intuitive concept of morals in any satisfactory way. Luckily for me, once I’ve started reading up on modern psychology and neuroscience, I found out that there are empirical […]... Read more »

Avram, M., Gutyrchik, E., Bao, Y., Pöppel, E., Reiser, M., & Blautzik, J. (2013) Neurofunctional correlates of esthetic and moral judgments. Neuroscience Letters, 128-32. PMID: 23262080  

  • January 28, 2015
  • 11:55 PM
  • 43 views

Space and stochasticity in evolutionary games

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Two of my goals for TheEGG this year are to expand the line up of contributors and to extend the blog into a publicly accessible venue for active debate about preliminary, in-progress, and published projects; a window into the everyday challenges and miracles of research. Toward the first goal, we have new contributions from Jill […]... Read more »

Durrett, R., & Levin, S. (1994) The Importance of Being Discrete (and Spatial). Theoretical Population Biology, 46(3), 363-394. DOI: 10.1006/tpbi.1994.1032  

  • January 24, 2015
  • 02:00 AM
  • 16 views

An approach towards ethics: primate sociality

by Alexander Yartsev in Evolutionary Games Group

Moral decision making is one of the major torrents in human behavior. It often overrides other ways of making judgments, it generates conflicting sets of cultural values and is reinforced by them. Such conflicts might even occur in the head of some unfortunate individual, which makes the process really creative. On the other hand ethical […]... Read more »

  • January 22, 2015
  • 12:45 PM
  • 87 views

Double public goods games and acid-mediated tumor invasion

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Although I’ve spent more time thinking about pairwise games, I’ve recently expanded my horizons to more serious considerations of public-goods games. They crop up frequently when we are modeling agents at the cellular level, since interacts are often indirect through production of some sort of common extra-cellular signal. Unlike the trivial to characterize two strategy […]... Read more »

  • January 20, 2015
  • 11:55 PM
  • 94 views

Truthiness of irrelevant detail in explanations from neuroscience to mathematical models

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Truthiness is the truth that comes from the gut, not books. Truthiness is preferring propositions that one wishes to be true over those known to be true. Truthiness is a wonderful commentary on the state of politics and media by a fictional character determined to be the best at feeling the news at us. Truthiness […]... Read more »

Weisberg, D.S., Keil, F.C., Goodstein, J., Rawson, E., & Gray, J.R. (2008) The seductive allure of neuroscience explanations. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20(3), 470-7. PMID: 18004955  

  • January 19, 2015
  • 11:45 PM
  • 102 views

What makes a discipline ‘mathematical’?

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

While walking to work on Friday, I was catching up on one of my favorite podcasts: The History of Philosophy without any Gaps. To celebrate the podcast’s 200th episode, Peter Adamson was interviewing Jill Kraye and John Marenbon on medieval philosophy. The podcasts was largely concerned with where we should define the temporal boundaries of […]... Read more »

Sylla, Edith D. (2011) Oxford Calculators. Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy, 903-908. DOI: 10.1007/SpringerReference_187789  

  • January 12, 2015
  • 10:30 PM
  • 109 views

Cataloging a year of blogging: the philosophical turn

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Passion and motivation are strange and confusing facets of being. Many things about them feel paradoxical. For example, I really enjoy writing, categorizing, and — obviously, if you’ve read many of the introductory paragraphs on TheEGG — blabbing on far too long about myself. So you’d expect that I would have been extremely motivated to […]... Read more »

Kaznatcheev, A., Montrey, M., & Shultz, T.R. (2014) Evolving useful delusions: Subjectively rational selfishness leads to objectively irrational cooperation. Proceedings of the 36th annual conference of the Cognitive Science Society. arXiv: 1405.0041v1

  • January 6, 2015
  • 11:45 PM
  • 144 views

Cataloging a year of blogging: cancer and biology

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Welcome to 111101111. Another year has come to an end, and it is time to embrace tradition and reflect on the past twelve months. In fact, I will try to do one better and start a new tradition: cataloging a year of blogging. Last year, I split up the 83 content heavy posts of 2013 […]... Read more »

Kaznatcheev, A., Scott, J.G., & Basanta, D. (2014) Edge effects in game theoretic dynamics of spatially structured tumours. arXiv. arXiv: 1307.6914v2

  • December 12, 2014
  • 05:30 PM
  • 195 views

Diversity working together: cancer, immune system, and microbiome

by Jill Gallaher in Evolutionary Games Group

After a much needed few weeks of recovery, I’ve found some time to post about our annual IMO workshop held this year on the topic of viruses in cancer. Our group had the challenge of learning about all of the complexities of the human microbiome and its interactions with a cancerous lesion. The human microbiome, […]... Read more »

  • December 3, 2014
  • 10:45 PM
  • 328 views

Memes, compound strategies, and factoring the replicator equation

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

When you work with evolutionary game theory for a while, you end up accumulating an arsenal of cute tools and tricks. A lot of them are obvious once you’ve seen them, but you usually wouldn’t bother looking for them if you hadn’t know they existed. In particular, you become very good friends with the replicator […]... Read more »

Börgers, T., & Sarin, R. (1997) Learning through reinforcement and replicator dynamics. Journal of Economic Theory, 77(1), 1-14. DOI: 10.1006/jeth.1997.2319  

  • December 1, 2014
  • 02:00 AM
  • 155 views

Is cancer really a game?

by Philip Gerlee in Evolutionary Games Group

A couple of weeks ago a post here on TheEGG, which was about evolutionary game theory (EGT) and cancer, sparked a debate on Twitter between proponents and opponents of the idea of using EGT to study cancer. Mainly due to the limitations inherent to Twitter the dialogue fizzled. Instead, here we are expanding ideas in […]... Read more »

Marusyk, A., Tabassum, D.P., Altrock, P.M., Almendro, V., Michor, F., & Polyak, K. (2014) Non-cell-autonomous driving of tumour growth supports sub-clonal heterogeneity. Nature, 514(7520), 54-8. PMID: 25079331  

  • November 24, 2014
  • 05:15 AM
  • 216 views

Helicobacter pylori and stem cells in the gastric crypt

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Last Friday, the 4th Integrated Mathematical Oncology Workshop finished here at Moffitt. The event drew a variety of internal and external participants — you can see a blurry photo of many of them above — and was structured as a competition between four teams specializing in four different domains: Microbiome, Hepatitis C, Human papillomavirus, and […]... Read more »

Houghton, J., Stoicov, C., Nomura, S., Rogers, A.B., Carlson, J., Li, H., Cai, X., Fox, J.G., Goldenring, J.R., & Wang, T.C. (2004) Gastric cancer originating from bone marrow-derived cells. Science, 306(5701), 1568-71. PMID: 15567866  

  • November 18, 2014
  • 01:15 PM
  • 201 views

From H. pylori to Spanish colonialism: the scales of cancer.

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Yesterday was the first day of the 4th Integrated Mathematical Oncology Workshop here at Moffitt. This year, it is run jointly with the Center for Infection Research in Cancer and is thus focused on the interaction of infection disease and cancer. This is a topic that I have not focused much attention on — except […]... Read more »

Kodaman, N., Pazos, A., Schneider, B.G., Piazuelo, M.B., Mera, R., Sobota, R.S., Sicinschi, L.A., Shaffer, C.L., Romero-Gallo, J., de Sablet, T.... (2014) Human and Helicobacter pylori coevolution shapes the risk of gastric disease. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(4), 1455-60. PMID: 24474772  

  • November 7, 2014
  • 11:45 PM
  • 223 views

Bernstein polynomials and non-linear public goods in tumours

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

By analogy, or maybe homage, to standard game theory, when we discuss the payoffs of an evolutionary game, we usually tell the story of two prototype agents representing their respective strategies meeting at random and interacting. For my stories of yarn, knitting needles, and clandestine meetings in the dark of night, I even give these […]... Read more »

  • November 1, 2014
  • 11:55 PM
  • 270 views

From realism to interfaces and rationality in evolutionary games

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

As I was preparing some reading assignments, I realized that I don’t have a single resource available that covers the main ideas of the interface theory of perception, objective versus subjective rationality, and their relationship to evolutionary game theory. I wanted to correct this oversight and use it as opportunity to comment on the philosophy […]... Read more »

Kaznatcheev, A., Montrey, M., & Shultz, T.R. (2014) Evolving useful delusions: Subjectively rational selfishness leads to objectively irrational cooperation. Proceedings of the 36th annual conference of the cognitive science societ. arXiv: 1405.0041v1

  • October 25, 2014
  • 11:30 PM
  • 258 views

Stem cells, branching processes and stochasticity in cancer

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

When you were born, you probably had 270 bones in your body. Unless you’ve experienced some very drastic traumas, and assuming that you are fully grown, then you probably have 206 bones now. Much like the number and types of internal organs, we can call this question of science solved. Unfortunately, it isn’t always helpful […]... Read more »

  • October 9, 2014
  • 10:15 PM
  • 263 views

Ecology of cancer: mimicry, eco-engineers, morphostats, and nutrition

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

One of my favorite parts of mathematical modeling is the opportunities it provides to carefully explore metaphors and analogies between disciplines. The connection most carefully explored at the MBI Workshop on the Ecology and Evolution of Cancer was, as you can guess from the name, between ecology and oncology. Looking at cancer from the perspective […]... Read more »

  • October 5, 2014
  • 11:45 PM
  • 310 views

Models and metaphors we live by

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s Metaphors we live by is a classic, that has had a huge influence on parts of linguistics and cognitive science, and some influence — although less so, in my opinion — on philosophy. It is structured around the thought that “[m]etaphor is one of our most important tools for trying […]... Read more »

Narayanan, S. (1997) Embodiment in language understanding: Sensory-motor representations for metaphoric reasoning about event descriptions. PhD Thesis (University of California, Berkeley). info:/

  • September 18, 2014
  • 11:45 PM
  • 277 views

Experimental and comparative oncology: zebrafish, dogs, elephants

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

One of the exciting things about mathematical oncology is that thinking about cancer often forces me to leave my comfortable arm-chair and look at some actually data. No matter how much I advocate for the merits of heuristic modeling, when it comes to cancer, data-agnostic models take second stage to data-rich modeling. This close relationship […]... Read more »

Gallaher, J., & Anderson, A.R. (2013) Evolution of intratumoral phenotypic heterogeneity: the role of trait inheritance. Interface Focus, 3(4), 20130016. arXiv: 1305.0524v1

  • September 16, 2014
  • 10:15 PM
  • 258 views

Colon cancer, mathematical time travel, and questioning the sequential mutation model.

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

On Saturday, I arrived in Columbus, Ohio for the the MBI Workshop on the Ecology and Evolution of Cancer. Today, our second day started. The meeting is an exciting combination of biology-minded mathematicians and computer scientists, and math-friendly biologist and clinicians. As is typical of workshops, the speakers of the first day had an agenda […]... Read more »

Baker AM, Cereser B, Melton S, Fletcher AG, Rodriguez-Justo M, Tadrous PJ, Humphries A, Elia G, McDonald SA, Wright NA.... (2014) Quantification of crypt and stem cell evolution in the normal and neoplastic human colon. Cell reports, 8(4), 940-7. PMID: 25127143  

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