On the Dynamics of Grouping

R. Cipriani and K. Jaffe (Venezuela)


Social, simulation, interactions, group size, selfish heard, evolution.


We introduce a one-dimensional grid model that describes the evolutionary dynamics of grouping behavior when groups provide some protection against predation. The model allows exploring the effects of predation on the dynamics of group formation under various evolutionary scenarios. It shows the formation of larger groups the more intense natural selection favors cooperation. The frequency distribution of group sizes achieved is similar to that from natural groups in the field for a variety of animals. The model suggests that small selective advantages provided by cooperation between neighbors is enough to stabilize large groups and that the frequency distributions of group sizes can reveal the strength of natural selection favoring grouping. We show the advantages and disadvantages of this model by testing the effects of the interaction between cooperators and free riders, and between cooperators and non-cooperators, in the process of group formation.

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