Evolutionary dynamics in biological and social systems

Xiaojie Chen is working with the Evolutionary Ecology Program (EEP) to assess evolutionary dynamics in biological and social systems, specially the emergence and stability of cooperation in social networks, using evolutionary game theory and adaptive dynamics.

Xiaojie Chen first joined IIASA in January 2012 as a postdoctoral research fellow. In February 2013 he became a research scholar in the EEP Program.

Dr. Chen's latest work has focused on how voluntary contributions in the production and safeguarding by societies of public goods can lead to defections, the so-called the volunteer's dilemma. In 2013 he lead-authored a paper on how" Shared rewarding overcomes defection traps in generalized volunteer's dilemmas, which was published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology in October. 

The results of the research for this paper showed that in order to encourage rational individuals to make voluntary contributions, a government or other social organizations can offer rewards, to be shared among the volunteers. However, to prevent volunteer defections   and promote coexistence of volunteers and non-volunteers, the research identified a critical level of shared rewarding -relatively small compared to volunteers' total contribution to the public good - that is remarkably effective in overcoming defection traps in the generalized volunteer's dilemma.

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Last edited: 10 June 2014


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Shared rewarding overcomes defection traps in generalized volunteer's dilemmas

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