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A model of food stealing with asymmetric information

Broom, M. & Rychtar, J. (2016). A model of food stealing with asymmetric information. Ecological Complexity, 26, pp. 137-142. doi: 10.1016/j.ecocom.2015.05.001


Many animals acquire food by stealing it from others. There are species of specialist thieves, but more commonly animals will search for both food items and items already found by others, often conspecifics, that can be stolen. This type of behaviour has previously been modelled using a range of approaches. One of these is the Finder-Joiner model, where one animal, the "Finder", discovers a food patch that takes some time to be consumed. Before consumption of the patch can be completed, another individual, the "Joiner", discovers the Finder and its food patch, and has the opportunity to attempt to steal it. Depending upon how large the patch was, and how long the Finder has been alone on the patch, there may be much or little food remaining. In this paper, building on previous work, we consider a version of this game where the Finder knows the value of the remaining food patch, but the Joiner does not. We see that depending upon the model parameters, the extra information possessed by the Finder can be beneficial or detrimental in comparison to the case where both individuals have full information.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2015, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Publisher Keywords: Stealing; Resource holding potential; Incomplete information; Game theory
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QH Natural history
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Mathematics
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Text (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence) - Other
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