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December 20, 2013

Forgiveness as success strategy

Researchers at IST Austria study the consequences of forgiving in Prisoner’s Dilemma

Johannes Reiter and Krishnendu Chatterjee photo by Reiner Riedler © IST Austria
(from left) PhD Student Johannes Reiter and Prof. Krish Chatterjee. © IST Austria

The Prisoner’s Dilemma is the standard model for studying the evolution of cooperation. In the recent edition of the online publication PLoS ONE, a team of researchers – including the IST Austria scientists Prof. Krishnendu Chatterjee and PhD student Johannes Reiter (pictured above) – examines a scenario in which two players have to alternately decide over numerous moves whether to cooperate with or defect each other. Using a mathematical model and computer simulation the team can show that the strategy named “Forgiver” proves to be the most successful. A forgiver defects once when the opponent has defected but subsequently tries to re-establish cooperation which leads to a long term success in the alternating Prisoner’s Dilemma.

Find a summary of the publication here:


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