I investigate how different dispersal patterns affect the evolution of cooperation in a spatially-structured population. I consider a finite fixed-size population of cooperators and free-riders residing on a one-dimensional lattice with periodic boundaries. Individuals interact via a multiplayer game, which is a version of a public goods game, and the population evolves via a Moran process. Individuals try to improve their interactions by evaluating the current state of the environment and moving to locations with better payoffs. I ran stochastic simulations of the evolution of this Markov process and found that if individuals disperse deterministically to locations with the best payoffs, then cooperation can still be maintained even in the worst-case scenarios, albeit at reduced levels compared to the better-case scenarios. This contrasts with an earlier investigation of probabilistic dispersal patterns, which resulted in the breakdown of cooperation in sparse populations with small interaction neighborhoods, a high mobility rate, and a large dispersal range.
evolution of cooperation spatial structure mobility stochastic simulation