Evolutionary Games Group

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128 posts · 62,930 views

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
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Eric Bolo
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  • December 12, 2014
  • 05:30 PM
  • 67 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
  • 142 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
  • 74 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
  • 112 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
  • 118 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
  • 143 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
  • 175 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
  • 165 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
  • 205 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
  • 210 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
  • 208 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
  • 193 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  

  • September 11, 2014
  • 11:00 PM
  • 303 views

Transcendental idealism and Post’s variant of the Church-Turing thesis

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

One of the exciting things in reading philosophy, its history in particular, is experiencing the tension between different schools of thought. This excitement turns to beauty if a clear synthesis emerges to reconcile the conflicting ideas. In the middle to late 18th century, as the Age of Enlightenment was giving way to the Romantic era, […]... Read more »

Post, E.L. (1936) Finite combinatory processes -- formulation 1. Journal of Symbolic Logic, 1(3), 103-105. info:/

  • September 1, 2014
  • 11:15 PM
  • 298 views

Falsifiability and Gandy’s variant of the Church-Turing thesis

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

In 1936, two years after Karl Popper published the first German version of The Logic of Scientific Discovery and introduced falsifiability; Alonzo Church, Alan Turing, and Emil Post each published independent papers on the Entscheidungsproblem and introducing the lambda calculus, Turing machines, and Post-Turing machines as mathematical models of computation. The years after saw many […]... Read more »

Gandy, R. (1980) Church's thesis and principles for mechanisms. Studies in Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics, 123-148. DOI: 10.1016/S0049-237X(08)71257-6  

  • May 4, 2014
  • 11:45 PM
  • 500 views

Useful delusions, interface theory of perception, and religion

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

As you can guess from the name, evolutionary game theory (EGT) traces its roots to economics and evolutionary biology. Both of the progenitor fields assume it impossible, or unreasonably difficult, to observe the internal representations, beliefs, and preferences of the agents they model, and thus adopt a largely behaviorist view. My colleagues and I, however, […]... 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

  • April 20, 2014
  • 11:45 PM
  • 469 views

Cross-validation in finance, psychology, and political science

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

A large chunk of machine learning (although not all of it) is concerned with predictive modeling, usually in the form of designing an algorithm that takes in some data set and returns an algorithm (or sometimes, a description of an algorithm) for making predictions based on future data. In terminology more friendly to the philosophy […]... Read more »

  • April 13, 2014
  • 11:45 PM
  • 707 views

Big data, prediction, and scientism in the social sciences

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Much of my undergrad was spent studying physics, and although I still think that a physics background is great for a theorists in any field, there are some downsides. For example, I used to make jokes like: “soft isn’t the opposite of hard sciences, easy is.” Thankfully, over the years I have started to slowly […]... Read more »

Lazer, D., Kennedy, R., King, G., & Vespignani, A. (2014) Big data. The parable of Google Flu: traps in big data analysis. Science, 343(6176), 1203-1205. PMID: 24626916  

  • April 6, 2014
  • 11:45 PM
  • 579 views

Kleene’s variant of the Church-Turing thesis

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

In 1936, Alonzo Church, Alan Turing, and Emil Post each published independent papers on the Entscheidungsproblem and introducing the lambda calculus, Turing machines, and Post-Turing machines as mathematical models of computation. A myriad of other models followed, many of them taking seemingly unrelated approaches to the computable: algebraic, combinatorial, linguistic, logical, mechanistic, etc. Of course, […]... Read more »

  • March 25, 2014
  • 11:45 PM
  • 880 views

Algorithmic Darwinism

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

The workshop on computational theories of evolution started off on Monday, March 17th with Leslie Valiant — one of the organizers — introducing his model of evolvability (Valiant, 2009). This original name was meant to capture what type of complexity can be achieved through evolution. Unfortunately — especially at this workshop — evolvability already had […]... Read more »

Feldman, V. (2008) Evolvability from learning algorithms. Proceedings of the 40th annual ACM symposium on Theory of Computing, 619-628. DOI: 10.1145/1374376.1374465  

  • March 16, 2014
  • 09:00 PM
  • 500 views

Computational theories of evolution

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

If you look at your typical computer science department’s faculty list, you will notice the theorists are a minority. Sometimes they are further subdivided by being culled off into mathematics departments. As such, any institute that unites and strengthens theorists is a good development. That was my first reason for excitement two years ago when […]... Read more »

Angelino, E., & Kanade, V. (2014) Attribute-efficient evolvability of linear functions. Proceedings of the 5th conference on Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science, 287-300. DOI: 10.1145/2554797.2554824  

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