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!

Artem Kaznatcheev
119 posts

Thomas Shultz
0 posts

Marcel Montrey
4 posts

Eric Bolo
5 posts

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  • February 28, 2017
  • 06:00 PM
  • 244 views

Cataloging a year of blogging: complexity in evolution, general models, and philosophy

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Last month, with just hours to spare in January, I shared a linkdex of the 14 cancer-related posts from TheEGG in 2016. Now, as February runs out, it’s time to reflect on the 15 non cancer-specific posts from last year. Although, as we’ll see, some of them are still related to mathematical oncology. With a […]... Read more »

  • December 18, 2016
  • 05:45 AM
  • 609 views

Fusion and sex in protocells & the start of evolution

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

In 1864, five years after reading Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, Pyotr Kropotkin — the anarchist prince of mutual aid — was leading a geographic survey expedition aboard a dog-sleigh — a distinctly Siberian variant of the HMS Beagle. In the harsh Manchurian climate, Kropotkin did not see competition ‘red in tooth and claw’, […]... Read more »

Sinai, S, Olejarz, J, Neagu, IA, & Nowak, MA. (2016) Primordial Sex Facilitates the Emergence of Evolution. arXiv. arXiv: 1612.00825v1

  • November 30, 2016
  • 02:00 AM
  • 484 views

Chemical games and the origin of life from prebiotic RNA

by Eric Bolo in Evolutionary Games Group

From bacteria to vertebrates, life — as we know it today — relies on complex molecular interactions, the intricacies of which science has not fully untangled. But for all its complexity, life always requires two essential abilities. Organisms need to preserve their genetic information and reproduce. In our own cells, these tasks are assigned to […]... Read more »

Yeates JA, Hilbe C, Zwick M, Nowak MA, & Lehman N. (2016) Dynamics of prebiotic RNA reproduction illuminated by chemical game theory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(18), 5030-5. PMID: 27091972  

  • November 25, 2016
  • 08:00 PM
  • 514 views

Three mechanisms of dark selection for ruxolitinib resistance

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Last week I returned from the 6th annual IMO Workshop at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. As I’ve sketched in an earlier post, my team worked on understanding ruxolitinib resistance in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML). We developed a suite of integrated multi-scale models for uncovering how resistance arises in CMML with no apparent […]... Read more »

Merlevede, J., Droin, N., Qin, T., Meldi, K., Yoshida, K., Morabito, M., Chautard, E., Auboeuf, D., Fenaux, P., Braun, T.... (2016) Mutation allele burden remains unchanged in chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia responding to hypomethylating agents. Nature Communications, 10767. PMID: 26908133  

  • November 9, 2016
  • 10:20 PM
  • 252 views

Dark selection and ruxolitinib resistance in myeloid neoplasms

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

I am weathering the US election in Tampa, Florida. For this week, I am back at the Moffitt Cancer Center to participate in the 6th annual IMO Workshop. The 2016 theme is one of the biggest challenges to current cancer treatment: therapy resistance. All five teams participating this year are comfortable with the evolutionary view […]... Read more »

  • August 17, 2016
  • 11:45 AM
  • 717 views

Multiplicative versus additive fitness and the limit of weak selection

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Previously, I have discussed the importance of understanding how fitness is defined in a given model. So far, I’ve focused on how mathematically equivalent formulations can have different ontological commitments. In this post, I want to touch briefly on another concern: two different types of mathematical definitions of fitness. In particular, I will discuss additive […]... Read more »

Wu B, García J, Hauert C, & Traulsen A. (2013) Extrapolating weak selection in evolutionary games. PLoS Computational Biology, 9(12). PMID: 24339769  

  • July 14, 2016
  • 11:30 PM
  • 839 views

Evolutionary dynamics of acid and VEGF production in tumours

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Today was my presentation day at ECMTB/SMB 2016. I spoke in David Basanta’s mini-symposium on the games that cancer cells play and postered during the poster session. The mini-symposium started with a brief intro from David, and had 25 minute talks from Jacob Scott, myself, Alexander Anderson, and John Nagy. David, Jake, Sandy, and John […]... Read more »

Hauert, C., De Monte, S., Hofbauer, J., & Sigmund, K. (2002) Replicator dynamics for optional public good games. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 218(2), 187-94. PMID: 12381291  

  • July 13, 2016
  • 10:30 PM
  • 845 views

Modeling influenza at ECMTB/SMB 2016

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

This week, I am at the University of Nottingham for the joint meeting of the Society of Mathematical Biology and the European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology — ECMTB/SMB 2016. It is a huge meeting, with over 800 delegates in attendance, 308 half-hour mini-symposium talks, 264 twenty-minute contributed talks, 190 posters, 7 prize talks, […]... Read more »

Gog, J.R., Ballesteros, S., Viboud, C., Simonsen, L., Bjornstad, O.N., Shaman, J., Chao, D.L., Khan, F., & Grenfell, B.T. (2014) Spatial Transmission of 2009 Pandemic Influenza in the US. PLoS Computational Biology, 10(6). PMID: 24921923  

  • June 9, 2016
  • 11:45 PM
  • 804 views

Multiple realizability of replicator dynamics

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Abstraction is my favorite part of mathematics. I find a certain beauty in seeing structures without their implementations, or structures that are preserved across various implementations. And although it seems possible to reason through analogy without (explicit) abstraction, I would not enjoy being restricted in such a way. In biology and medicine, however, I often […]... Read more »

Taylor, P., & Jonker, L. (1978) Evolutionary stable strategies and game dynamics. Mathematical Biosciences, 40(1-2), 145-156. DOI: 10.1016/0025-5564(78)90077-9  

  • June 2, 2016
  • 11:45 PM
  • 838 views

Systemic change, effective altruism and philanthropy

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

The topics of effective altruism and social (in)justice have weighed heavy on my mind for several years. I’ve even touched on the latter occasionally on TheEGG, but usually in specific domains closer to my expertise, such as in my post on the ethics of big data. Recently, I started reading more thoroughly about effective altruism. […]... Read more »

Falk, A., & Szech, N. (2013) Morals and Markets. Science, 340(6133), 707-711. DOI: 10.1126/science.1231566  

  • May 16, 2016
  • 11:45 PM
  • 894 views

Acidity and vascularization as linear goods in cancer

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Last month, Robert Vander Velde discussed a striking similarity between the linear version of our model of two anti-correlated goods and the Haert et al. (2002) optional public good game. Robert didn’t get a chance to go into the detailed math behind the scenes, so I wanted to do that today. The derivations here will […]... Read more »

Hauert, C., De Monte, S., Hofbauer, J., & Sigmund, K. (2002) Replicator dynamics for optional public good games. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 218(2), 187-94. PMID: 12381291  

  • May 13, 2016
  • 11:50 PM
  • 863 views

Eukaryotes without Mitochondria and Aristotle’s Ladder of Life

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

In 348/7 BC, fearing anti-Macedonian sentiment or disappointed with the control of Plato’s Academy passing to Speusippus, Aristotle left Athens for Asian Minor across the Aegean sea. Based on his five years — before returning to Macedonia to tutor Alexander the Great — studying of the natural history of Lesbos, he wrote the pioneering work […]... Read more »

Karnkowska, A., Vacek, V., Zubáčová, Z., Treitli, S., Petrželková, R., Eme, L., Novák, L., Žárský, V., Barlow, L., Herman, E.... (2016) A Eukaryote without a Mitochondrial Organelle. Current Biology, 1-11. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.03.053  

  • April 14, 2016
  • 02:00 AM
  • 887 views

Cancer metabolism and voluntary public goods games

by Robert Vander Velde in Evolutionary Games Group

When I first came to Tampa to do my Masters[1], my focus turned to explanations of the Warburg effect — especially a recent paper by Archetti (2014) — and the acid-mediated tumor invasion hypothesis (Gatenby, 1995; Basanta et al., 2008). In the course of our discussions about Archetti (2013,2014), Artem proposed the idea of combining two […]... Read more »

Hauert, C., De Monte, S., Hofbauer, J., & Sigmund, K. (2002) Replicator dynamics for optional public good games. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 218(2), 187-194. PMID: 12381291  

  • April 11, 2016
  • 11:15 PM
  • 798 views

Choosing units of size for populations of cells

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Recently, I have been interacting more and more closely with experiment. This has put me in the fortunate position of balancing the design and analysis of both theoretical and experimental models. It is tempting to think of theorists as people that come up with ideas to explain an existing body of facts, and of mathematical […]... Read more »

Shnerb, N.M., Louzoun, Y., Bettelheim, E., & Solomon, S. (2000) The importance of being discrete: life always wins on the surface. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 97(19), 10322-4. PMID: 10962027  

  • March 31, 2016
  • 02:00 AM
  • 584 views

Mutation-bias driving the evolution of mutation rates

by Julian Xue in Evolutionary Games Group

In classic game theory, we are often faced with multiple potential equilibria between which to select with no unequivocal way to choose between these alternatives. If you’ve ever heard Artem justify dynamic approaches, such as evolutionary game theory, then you’ve seen this equilibrium selection problem take center stage. Natural selection has an analogous ‘problem’ of […]... Read more »

  • March 26, 2016
  • 11:45 PM
  • 761 views

Don’t treat the player, treat the game: buffer therapy and bevacizumab

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

No matter how much I like modeling for the sake of modeling, or science for the sake of science, working in a hospital adds some constraints. At some point people look over at you measuring games in the Petri dish and ask “why are you doing this?” They expect an answer that involves something that […]... Read more »

  • March 17, 2016
  • 09:45 PM
  • 557 views

Variation for supply driven evolution

by Julian Xue in Evolutionary Games Group

I’ve taken a very long hiatus (nearly 5 years!) from this blog. I suppose getting married and getting an MD are good excuses, but Artem has very kindly let me return. And I greatly appreciate this chance, because I’d like to summarize an idea I had been working on for a while. So far, only two publication has […]... Read more »

  • February 9, 2016
  • 11:30 PM
  • 968 views

Lotka-Volterra, replicator dynamics, and stag hunting bacteria

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Happy year of the monkey! Last time in the Petri dish, I considered the replicator dynamics between type-A and type-B cells abstractly. In the comments, Arne Traulsen pointed me to Li et al. (2015): We have attempted something similar in spirit with bacteria. Looking at frequencies alone, it looked like coordination. But taking into account […]... Read more »

Li, X.-Y., Pietschke, C., Fraune, S., Altrock, P.M., Bosch, T.C., & Traulsen, A. (2015) Which games are growing bacterial populations playing?. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 12(108), 20150121. PMID: 26236827  

  • February 4, 2016
  • 11:30 PM
  • 1,013 views

Hadza hunter-gatherers, social networks, and models of cooperation

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

At the heart of the Great Lakes region of East Africa is Tanzania — a republic comprised of 30 mikoa, or provinces. Its border is marked off by the giant lakes Victoria, Tanganyika, and Malawi. But the lake that interests me the most is an internal one: 200 km from the border with Kenya at […]... Read more »

Apicella, C.L., Marlowe, F.W., Fowler, J.H., & Christakis, N.A. (2012) Social networks and cooperation in hunter-gatherers. Nature, 481(7382), 497-501. PMID: 22281599  

  • January 27, 2016
  • 11:00 PM
  • 942 views

Measuring games in the Petri dish

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

For the next couple of months, Jeffrey Peacock is visiting Moffitt. He’s a 4th year medical student at the University of Central Florida with a background in microbiology and genetic engineering of bacteria and yeast. Together with Andriy Marusyk and Jacob Scott, he will move to human cells and run some in vitro experiments with […]... 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  

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