Many economic and social systems are essentially large multi-agent systems. By means of computational modeling, the complicated behavior of such systems can be investigated. Modeling a multi-agent system as an evolutionary agent system, several important choices have to be made for evolutionary operators. Especially, it is to be expected that evolutionary dynamics substantially depend on the selection scheme. We therefore investigate the influence of evolutionary selection mechanisms on a fundamental problem: the iterated prisoner's dilemma (IPD), an elegant model for the emergence of cooperation in a multi-agent system. We observe various types of behavior, cooperation level, and stability, depending on the selection mechanism and the selection intensity. Hence, our results are important for (1) The proper choice and application of election schemes when modeling real economic situations and (2) assessing the validity of the conclusions drawn from computer experiments with these models. We also conclude that the role of selection in the evolution of multi-agent systems should be investigated further, for instance using more detailed and complex agent interaction models.

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Software Engineering [SEN]
Intelligent and autonomous systems

van Bragt, D. D. B., van Kemenade, C., & La Poutré, H. (2000). The influence of evolutionary selection schemes on the iterated prisoner's dilemma. Software Engineering [SEN]. CWI.