The Evolution of Altruism: Increasing the Amount of Realism in Evolutionary Simulations
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Our study is based on the research on altruism done by Robert Axelrod. With the use of mathematical game models, Axelrod created a computer model of altruism evolving from randomness. We have elaborated on his studies to include four new variables; genetic drift, a variable of reputation, increased offspring generations, and a 5 x 5 payoff matrix (instead of the original 2x2). These new variables increase the realism of our model. While interpreting our data we were able to trace the evolution of the chromosomes from randomness to a cooperative strategy. Our basic results follow the same pattern as Axelrod?s. But with our microscopic analysis of the chromosomes, we found that the chromosomes have evolved two separate strategies at the same time. One strategy is an all-altruistic approach for use within the population, and the other is used to punish non-cooperative immigrants.