A potential game approach to modelling evolution in a connected society

Jiabin Wu, Dai Zusai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When studying human behaviour, it is important to understand not just how individuals interact, but also interactions at the level of communities and populations. Most previous modelling of networks has focused on interactions between individual agents. Here we provide a modelling framework to study the evolution of behaviour in connected populations, by regarding subpopulations as the basic unit of interaction and focusing on the population-level connection structure. We find that when the underlying game played by individuals is a potential game, utilizing such a structure greatly simplifies analysis. In addition, according to known general results on the convergence of evolution dynamics to Nash equilibria in a potential game, our formulation provides a tractable model on behavioural dynamics in social networks that needs only conventional techniques from evolutionary game theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-610
Number of pages7
JournalNature Human Behaviour
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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