Evolution of optimal Lévy-flight strategies in human mental searches

Radicchi, F. & Baronchelli, A. (2012). Evolution of optimal Lévy-flight strategies in human mental searches. Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, 85(6), doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.85.061121

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Abstract

Recent analysis of empirical data [ Radicchi, Baronchelli and Amaral PloS ONE 7 e029910 (2012)] showed that humans adopt Lévy-flight strategies when exploring the bid space in online auctions. A game theoretical model proved that the observed Lévy exponents are nearly optimal, being close to the exponent value that guarantees the maximal economical return to players. Here, we rationalize these findings by adopting an evolutionary perspective. We show that a simple evolutionary process is able to account for the empirical measurements with the only assumption that the reproductive fitness of the players is proportional to their search ability. Contrary to previous modeling, our approach describes the emergence of the observed exponent without resorting to any strong assumptions on the initial searching strategies. Our results generalize earlier research, and open novel questions in cognitive, behavioral, and evolutionary sciences.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: School of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences > Department of Mathematical Science
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/2655

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