Game Dynamics

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What happens in a given simulation depends upon the initial power structure and the parameters chosen. Consequently, a wide variety of behavior can emerge. Despite this variation, general principles can be distilled. The following observations pertain to simulations based on simultaneous moves and ternary tactics. These observations are tentative and will be revised and refined as further experimentation is carried out.

General Observations

The following observations apply to power structures generally, regardless of their polarity:

  1. Agents tend to attack near rivals but otherwise cooperate. With ternary tactics, cooperation does not occur when the two agents are have drastically different sizes. If continuous tactics are used, that cooperation would happen, even if on unequal terms.
  2. Disequilibrium is much more common than equilibrium. Power structures sometimes become totally connected (everyone cooperates) or totally disconnect (no one has any relationships), and sometimes the relationships remain unchanged over several time steps. But for the most part, power structures are in constant flux because the law of motion alters agent strength levels and agents act in response.
  3. The size vector seems to be much more determinative of the long-term evolution of a system than the tactic matrix.
  4. Agents tend to withdraw cooperation from a small agent that is being attacked.

Unipolar Systems

The following observations apply to power structures in which one agent is significantly stronger than the rest:

  1. When one agent is larger than the others, it disconnects or sometimes actively diminishes the others, while the rest tend to cooperate with each other. Presumably this is to avoid conferring a disproportionate share of power on them, which may be an artifact of using ternary tactics.
  2. Unipolar systems seem to be the most prone to violence.
  3. Hierarchies are not stable, at least when the whole system is a single hierarchy. When there are rival hierarchies, they seem more stable.
  4. There does not seem to be any inherent phenomenon of agents defending their allies from attack.

Bipolar Systems

The following observations apply to power structures in which two agents dominate:

  1. The two dominant agents alternate between cooperation and no relationship and with each occasionally aligning temporarily with the smaller agent(s), perhaps as a way to establish balance.

Multipolar Systems

The following observations apply to systems with three or more large agents of similar size:

  1. Agents around the same size tend towards complete cooperation.

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