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The Stabilisation of Equilibria in Evolutionary Game Dynamics through Mutation: Mutation Limits in Evolutionary Games

Bauer, J., Broom, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-1698-5495 & Alonso, E. ORCID: 0000-0002-3306-695X (2019). The Stabilisation of Equilibria in Evolutionary Game Dynamics through Mutation: Mutation Limits in Evolutionary Games. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 475(2231), article number 20190355. doi: 10.1098/rspa.2019.0355


The multi-population replicator dynamics is a dynamic approach to coevolving populations and multi-player games and is related to Cross learning. In general, not every equilibrium is a Nash equilibrium of the underlying game, and the convergence is not guaranteed. In particular, no interior equilibrium can be asymptotically stable in the multi-population replicator dynamics, e.g. resulting in cyclic orbits around a single interior Nash equilibrium. We introduce a new notion of equilibria of replicator dynamics, called mutation limits, based on a naturally arising, simple form of mutation, which is invariant under the specific choice of mutation parameters. We prove the existence of mutation limits for a large class of games, and consider a particularly interesting subclass called attracting mutation limits. Attracting mutation limits are approximated in every (mutation-)perturbed replicator dynamics, hence they offer an approximate dynamic solution to the underlying game even if the original dynamic is not convergent. Thus, mutation stabilizes the system in certain cases and makes attracting mutation limits near attainable. Hence, attracting mutation limits are relevant as a dynamic solution concept of games. We observe that they have some similarity to Q-learning in multi-agent reinforcement learning. Attracting mutation limits do not exist in all games, however, raising the question of their characterization.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: replicator dynamics, evolutionarygames, mutation, multiple populations
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
School of Science & Technology > Mathematics
SWORD Depositor:
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