#### Incorporating Space and Stochasticity in an Evolutionary Game Theory Model

This thesis explores and explains a stochastic model in Evolutionary Game Theory introduced by Dr. Nicolas Lanchier. The model is a continuous-time Markov chain that maps the two-dimensional lattice into…

This thesis explores and explains a stochastic model in Evolutionary Game Theory introduced by Dr. Nicolas Lanchier. The model is a continuous-time Markov chain that maps the two-dimensional lattice into the strategy space {1,2}. At every vertex in the grid there is exactly one player whose payoff is determined by its strategy and the strategies of its neighbors. Update times are exponential random variables with parameters equal to the absolute value of the respective cells' payoffs. The model is connected to an ordinary differential equation known as the replicator equation. This differential equation is analyzed to find its fixed points and stability. Then, by simulating the model using Java code and observing the change in dynamics which result from varying the parameters of the payoff matrix, the stochastic model's phase diagram is compared to the replicator equation's phase diagram to see what effect local interactions and stochastic update times have on the evolutionary stability of strategies. It is revealed that in the stochastic model altruistic strategies can be evolutionarily stable, and selfish strategies are only evolutionarily stable if they are more selfish than their opposing strategy. This contrasts with the replicator equation where selfishness is always evolutionarily stable and altruism never is.

**Contributors**

- Wehn, Austin Brent (Author)
- Lanchier, Nicolas (Thesis director)
- Kang, Yun (Committee member)
- Motsch, Sebastien (Committee member)
- Barrett, The Honors College (Contributor)
- School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (Contributor)
- School of International Letters and Cultures (Contributor)

**Created**

- 2013-12