Evolutionary Games Group

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148 posts · 77,898 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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  • March 31, 2015
  • 11:45 PM
  • 98 views

Operationalizing the local environment for replicator dynamics

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Recently, Jake Taylor-King arrived in Tampa and last week we were brainstorming some projects to work on together. In the process, I dug up an old idea I’ve been playing with as my understanding of the Ohtsuki-Nowak transform matured. The basic goal is to work towards an operational account of spatial structure without having to […]... Read more »

Ohtsuki, H., & Nowak, M. (2006) The replicator equation on graphs. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 243(1), 86-97. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2006.06.004  

  • March 28, 2015
  • 11:00 AM
  • 113 views

Misbeliefs, evolution and games: a positive case

by Sergio Graziosi in Evolutionary Games Group

A recurrent theme here in TheEGG is the limits and reliability of knowledge. These get explored from many directions: on epistemological grounds, from the philosophy of science angle, but also formally, through game theory and simulations. In this post, I will explore the topic of misbeliefs as adaptations. Misbeliefs will be intended as ideas about […]... 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

  • March 16, 2015
  • 11:45 PM
  • 112 views

Pairing tools and problems: a lesson from the methods of mathematics and the Entscheidungsproblem

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Three weeks ago it was my lot to present at the weekly integrated mathematical oncology department meeting. Given the informal setting, I decided to grab one gimmick and run with it. I titled my talk: ‘2’. It was an overview of two recent projects that I’ve been working on: double public goods for acid mediated […]... Read more »

  • March 2, 2015
  • 11:55 PM
  • 146 views

Short history of iterated prisoner’s dilemma tournaments

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Nineteen Eighty — if I had to pick the year that computational modeling invaded evolutionary game theory then that would be it. In March, 1980 — exactly thirty-five years ago — was when Robert Axelrod, a professor of political science at University of Michigan, published the results of his first tournament for iterated prisoner’s dilemma […]... Read more »

  • February 28, 2015
  • 09:15 AM
  • 183 views

Five motivations for theoretical computer science

by Abel Molina in Evolutionary Games Group

There are some situations, perhaps lucky ones, where it is felt that an activity needs no external motivation or justification.  For the rest, it can be helpful to think of what the task at hand can be useful for. This of course doesn’t answer the larger question of what is worth doing, since it just distributes […]... Read more »

Barton, N.H., Novak, S., & Paixão, T. (2014) Diverse forms of selection in evolution and computer science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(29), 10398-9. PMID: 25009183  

  • February 25, 2015
  • 11:45 PM
  • 151 views

Operationalizing replicator dynamics and partitioning fitness functions

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

As you know, dear regular reader, I have a rather uneasy relationship with reductionism, especially when doing mathematical modeling in biology. In mathematical oncology, for example, it seems that there is a hope that through our models we can bring a more rigorous mechanistic understanding of cancer, but at the same time there is the […]... Read more »

Archetti, M., Ferraro, D.A., & Christofori, G. (2015) Heterogeneity for IGF-II production maintained by public goods dynamics in neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(6), 1833-8. PMID: 25624490  

  • February 21, 2015
  • 11:55 PM
  • 135 views

Pairwise games as a special case of public goods

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Usually, when we are looking at public goods games, we consider an agent interacting with a group of n other agents. In our minds, we often imagine n to be large, or sometimes even take the limit as n goes to infinity. However, this isn’t the only limit that we should consider when we are […]... Read more »

  • February 14, 2015
  • 10:00 PM
  • 203 views

Evolutionary non-commutativity suggests novel treatment strategies

by Dan Nichol in Evolutionary Games Group

In the Autumn of 2011 I received an email from Jacob Scott, now a good friend and better mentor, who was looking for an undergraduate to code an evolutionary simulation. Jake had just arrived in Oxford to start his DPhil in applied mathematics and by chance had dined at St Anne’s College with Peter Jeavons, […]... Read more »

Tan, L., Serene, S., Chao, H.X., & Gore, J. (2011) Hidden randomness between fitness landscapes limits reverse evolution. Physical Review Letters, 106(19), 198102. PMID: 21668204  

  • February 13, 2015
  • 11:00 PM
  • 191 views

Evolutionrary game theory without interactions

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

When I am working on evolutionary game theory, I usually treat the models I build as heuristics to guide intuitions and push the imagination. But working on something as practical as cancer, and being in a department with many physics-trained colleagues puts pressure on me to think of moving more towards insilications or abductions. Now, […]... Read more »

  • February 10, 2015
  • 11:55 PM
  • 210 views

False memories and journalism

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

We like to think of ourselves as a collection of our memories, and of each memory as a snapshot of an event in our lives. Sure, we all know that our minds aren’t as sturdy as our computer’s hard-drive, so these snapshots decay over time, especially the boring ones — that’s why most of us […]... Read more »

Loftus, E.F. (2003) Make-believe memories. The American Psychologist, 58(11), 867-73. PMID: 14609374  

  • February 7, 2015
  • 02:00 AM
  • 204 views

Rogers’ paradox: Why cheap social learning doesn’t raise mean fitness

by Marcel Montrey in Evolutionary Games Group

It’s Friday night, you’re lonely, you’re desperate and you’ve decided to do the obvious—browse Amazon for a good book to read—when, suddenly, you’re told that you’ve won one for free. Companionship at last! But, as you look at the terms and conditions, you realize that you’re only given a few options to choose from. You […]... Read more »

Rogers, A. (1988) Does biology constrain culture?. American Anthropologist, 819-831. DOI: 10.1525/aa.1988.90.4.02a00030  

  • February 4, 2015
  • 11:55 PM
  • 169 views

Seeing edge effects in tumour histology

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Some of the hardest parts of working towards the ideal of a theorist, at least for me, are: (1) making sure that I engage with problems that can be made interesting to the new domain I enter and not just me; (2) engaging with these problems in a way and using tools that can be […]... Read more »

Kaznatcheev, A., Scott, J.G., & Basanta, D. (2015) Edge effects in game theoretic dynamics of spatially structured tumours. arXiv. info:/

  • January 31, 2015
  • 10:15 AM
  • 237 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
  • 229 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
  • 180 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
  • 245 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
  • 235 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
  • 239 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
  • 254 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
  • 272 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

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