2019 Impact factor 2.873

EPJ B Colloquium: Evolutionary Games on Multilayer Networks

Schematic illustration of a multilayer network

Networks of networks, or multilayer networks, are a fitting description of social systems. Small and seemingly irrelevant changes in a network can have catastrophic consequences in another network. Moreover the structures of networks are relevant to the evolution of cooperation.

In this EPJ B colloquium, devoted to evolutionary games on multilayer networks, Zhen Wang and colleagues take into consideration the implications of the fact that humans are usually members of multiple social networks and conclude that the evolution of cooperation is one of the main pillars of modern human societies.

The authors give an overview of the most significant conceptual differences between single-layer and multilayer networks. They then review fascinating and counterintuitive evolutionary outcomes that emerge due to different types of interdependencies between otherwise independent populations. The focus is on coupling through the utilities of players, through the flow of information, as well as through the popularity of different strategies on different network layers. This Colloquium highlights the importance of pattern formation and collective behaviour for the promotion of cooperation under adverse conditions, as well as the synergies that exist between network science and evolutionary game theory.

M. Strohmaier