A game theoretical model of kleptoparasitism with incomplete information

Broom, M. & Rychtar, J. (2009). A game theoretical model of kleptoparasitism with incomplete information. Journal of Mathematical Biology, 59(5), pp. 631-649. doi: 10.1007/s00285-008-0247-2

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Abstract

Kleptoparasitism, the stealing of food from one animal by another, is a common natural phenomenon that has been modelled mathematically in a number of ways. The handling process of food items can take some time and the value of such items can vary depending upon how much handling an item has received. Furthermore this information may be known to the handler but not the potential challenger, so there is an asymmetry between the information possessed by the two competitors. We use game-theoretic methods to investigate the consequences of this asymmetry for continuously consumed food items, depending upon various natural parameters. A variety of solutions are found, and there are complex situations where three possible solutions can occur for the same set of parameters. It is also possible to have situations which involve members of the population exhibiting different behaviours from each other. We find that the asymmetry of information often appears to favour the challenger, despite the fact that it possesses less information than the challenged individual.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Algorithms, Animals, Appetitive Behavior, Competitive Behavior, Feeding Behavior, Game Theory, Models, Biological, Population Density
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions: School of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences > Department of Mathematical Science
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/975

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