Public goods games often assume that the effect of the public good is a linear function of the number of contributions. In many cases, however, especially in biology, public goods have nonlinear effects, and nonlinear games are known to have dynamics and equilibria that can differ dramatically from linear games. Here I explain how to analyze nonlinear public goods games using the properties of Bernstein polynomials, and how to approximate the equilibria. I use mainly examples from the evolutionary game theory of cancer, but the approach can be used for a wide range of nonlinear public goods games.
game theory public goods cooperation nonlinear games evolutionary dynamics Bernstein polynomials cancer