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Science 303 (5659): 793-799

Copyright © 2004 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Evolutionary Dynamics of Biological Games

Martin A. Nowak1*, and Karl Sigmund2,3

Abstract: Darwinian dynamics based on mutation and selection form the core of mathematical models for adaptation and coevolution of biological populations. The evolutionary outcome is often not a fitness-maximizing equilibrium but can include oscillations and chaos. For studying frequency-dependent selection, game-theoretic arguments are more appropriate than optimization algorithms. Replicator and adaptive dynamics describe short- and long-term evolution in phenotype space and have found applications ranging from animal behavior and ecology to speciation, macroevolution, and human language. Evolutionary game theory is an essential component of a mathematical and computational approach to biology.

1 Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, Department of Mathematics, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, 1 Brattle Square, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
2 Faculty for Mathematics, University of Vienna, Nordberggasse 15, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.
3 International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: martin_nowak{at}harvard.edu


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