Recently, the emergent dynamics in multiplex networks, composed of layers of multiple networks, has been discussed extensively in network sciences. However, little is still known about whether and how the evolution of strategy for selecting a layer to participate in can contribute to the emergence of cooperative behaviors in multiplex networks of social interactions. To investigate these issues, we constructed a coevolutionary model of cooperation and layer selection strategies in which each an individual selects one layer from multiple layers of social networks and plays the Prisoner's Dilemma with neighbors in the selected layer. We found that the proportion of cooperative strategies increased with increasing the number of layers regardless of the degree of dilemma, and this increase occurred due to a cyclic coevolution process of game strategies and layer selection strategies. We also showed that the heterogeneity of links among layers is a key factor for multiplex networks to facilitate the evolution of cooperation, and such positive effects on cooperation were observed regardless of the difference in the stochastic properties of network topologies.
multiplex networks cooperation layer selection coevolution agent-based model