lecture3 - BioNB 221: Lecture 3 Sept. 3, 2008 Lecture 3:...

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BioNB 221: Lecture 3 Sept. 3, 2008 Page 1 Lecture 3: Game Theory and Hamilton s Rule Professor H. Kern Reeve A. Introduction The goal of every scientific discipline is to describe, explain and predict phenomena with the aid of theoretical models that picture the essential relationships between these phenomena and their causes. These models can be verbal or mathematical . The virtue of mathematical models is that they (i) force one to be explicit about the assumptions behind the model, (ii) allow one to explore the consequences of models that are too complex or subtle for verbal intuition to be a reliable guide, and (iii) generate precise, quantitative predictions (and thus especially sensitive tests of the model). Thus it is no surprise that mathematical models have played an important role in understanding the evolution of animal behavior. Today, you will be introduced to two classes of mathematical models that have been especially useful in understanding the evolution of social interactions in animals and plants: i.e., GAME THEORY and KIN SELECTION THEORY. In game theory, organisms are pictured as players in games, with the payoffs of the game being units of individual fitness. In kin selection theory, we include the possibility that socially interacting organisms are genetic relatives, i.e., that they share gene copies through common descent. B. Evolutionary game theory is the mathematical apparatus for predicting the combinations of social behaviors that should be exhibited by interacting organisms as the result of natural selection. It deals with cases in which an organism's fitness depends on the behaviors exhibited by other members of the population, i.e., cases in which fitness is frequency dependent (dependent on the frequencies of alternative behavioral strategies in the population). CLASSROOM
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This note was uploaded on 08/28/2008 for the course BIO 2210 taught by Professor Seeley during the Fall '08 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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lecture3 - BioNB 221: Lecture 3 Sept. 3, 2008 Lecture 3:...

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