Philosophy of Science 86 (3):497-521 (2019)

Aydin Mohseni
University of Pittsburgh
The replicator dynamics and Moran process are the main deterministic and stochastic models of evolutionary game theory. The models are connected by a mean-field relationship—the former describes the expected behavior of the latter. However, there are conditions under which their predictions diverge. I demonstrate that the divergence between their predictions is a function of standard techniques used in their analysis and of differences in the idealizations involved in each. My analysis reveals problems for stochastic stability analysis in a broad class of games, demonstrates a novel domain of agreement between the dynamics, and indicates a broader moral for evolutionary modeling.
Keywords game theory  evolutionary game theory  replicator dynamics  Moran process  stochastic stability
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DOI 10.1086/703581
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