The emergence and evolution of cooperation on complex networks

Han-Xin Yang*, Wen-Xu Wang, Ying-Cheng Lai, Celso Grebogi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The emergence and evolution of cooperation in complex natural, social and economical systems is an interdisciplinary topic of recent interest. This paper focuses on the cooperation on complex networks using the approach of evolutionary games. In particular, the phenomenon of diversity-optimized cooperation is briefly reviewed and the effect of network clustering on cooperation is treated in detail. For the latter, a general type of public goods games is used with the result that, for fixed average degree and degree distributions in the underlying network, a high clustering coefficient can promote cooperation. Basic quantities such as the cooperator and defector clusters, mean payoffs of cooperators and defectors along their respective boundaries, the fraction of cooperators for different classes as well as the mean payoffs of hubs in scale-free networks are also investigated. Since strong clustering is typical in many social networks, these results provide insights into the emergence of cooperation in such networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1250228
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


  • clustering coefficient
  • prisoners-dilemma game
  • public-goods games
  • snowdrift game
  • evolutionary game
  • cooperation
  • diversity
  • dynamics
  • scale-free networks
  • small-world networks
  • public goods game


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