Artículos con la etiqueta ‘Populations and Evolution (q-bio.PE)’

Beyond network structure: How heterogenous susceptibility modulates the spread of epidemics

Por • 12 mar, 2014 • Category: Ciencia y tecnología

The compartmental models used to study epidemic spreading often assume the same susceptibility for all individuals, and are therefore, agnostic about the effects that differences in susceptibility can have on epidemic spreading. Here we show that–for the SIS model–differential susceptibility can make networks more vulnerable to the spread of diseases when the correlation between a node’s degree and susceptibility are positive, and less vulnerable when this correlation is negative. Moreover, we show that networks become more likely to contain a pocket of infection when individuals are more likely to connect with others that have similar susceptibility (the network is segregated).



Inequity aversion and the evolution of cooperation

Por • 26 feb, 2014 • Category: sociologia

Evolution of cooperation is a widely studied problem in biology, social science, economics, and artificial intelligence. Most of the existing approaches that explain cooperation rely on some notion of direct or indirect reciprocity. These reciprocity based models assume agents recognize their partner and know their previous interactions, which requires advanced cognitive abilities. In this paper we are interested in developing a model that produces cooperation without requiring any explicit memory of previous game plays. Our model is based on the notion of, a concept introduced within behavioral economics, whereby individuals care about payoff equality in outcomes.



Evolution: Life has Evolved to Evolve

Por • 10 feb, 2014 • Category: Leyes

Jim Shapiro synthesizes a great many observations about the mechanisms of evolution to reach the remarkable conclusion that large-scale modification, exchange, and rearrangement of the genome are common and should be viewed as fundamental features of life. In other words, the genome should be viewed not as mostly read-only with a few rare mutations, but rather as a fully-fledged read-write library of genetic functions under continuous revision. Revision of the genome occurs during cellular replication, during multicellular development, and during evolution of a population of individuals. DNA formatting controls the timing and location of genetic rearrangements, gene expression, and genetic repair. Each of these events is under the control of precise cellular circuits. Shapiro reviews the toolbox of natural genetic engineering that provides the functionalities necessary for efficient long-term genome restructuring.



Categorization of exchange fluxes explains the four relational models

Por • 25 dic, 2013 • Category: sociologia

The theory of Relational Models (RMs) posits four elementary models of relationships governing all human interactions, singly or in combination: Communal Sharing, Authority Ranking, Equality Matching, and Market Pricing. By considering two agents that can act in one out of three ways towards one another: give resource A, give resource B, or give nothing, we find four discrete categories of exchange fluxes that map unequivocally to the four RMs. This categorization shows that the RMs form an exhaustive set of all possible elementary exchanges. Hence, the fluxes categorization answers why there are just four RMs and explains their discreteness. By considering the costs associated with extracting resources, storing them and implementing each flux category, we are able to propose conditions under which each RM should evolve. We also logically deduce the singular nature of the Authority Ranking model. Our propositions are compatible with anthropological, ethnological and historical observations and can be tested analytically and/or numerically via agent-based computer simulations.



Spreading of cooperative behaviour across interdependent groups

Por • 16 oct, 2013 • Category: sociologia

Recent empirical research has shown that links between groups reinforce individuals within groups to adopt cooperative behaviour. Moreover, links between networks may induce cascading failures, competitive percolation, or contribute to efficient transportation. Here we show that there in fact exists an intermediate fraction of links between groups that is optimal for the evolution of cooperation in the prisoner’s dilemma game. We consider individual groups with regular, random, and scale-free topology, and study their different combinations to reveal that an intermediate interdependence optimally facilitates the spreading of cooperative behaviour between groups. Excessive between-group links simply unify the two groups and make them act as one, while too rare between-group links preclude a useful information flow between the two groups. Interestingly, we find that between-group links are more likely to connect two cooperators than in-group links, thus supporting the conclusion that they are of paramount importance.



Why is combinatorial communication rare in the natural world, and why is language an exception to this trend?

Por • 14 sep, 2013 • Category: Leyes

In a combinatorial communication system, some signals consist of the combinations of other signals. Such systems are more efficient than equivalent, non-combinatorial systems, yet despite this they are rare in nature. Why? Previous explanations have focused on the adaptive limits of combinatorial communication, or on its purported cognitive difficulties, but neither of these explains the full distribution of combinatorial communication in the natural world. Here we present a nonlinear dynamical model of the emergence of combinatorial communication that, unlike previous models, considers how initially non-communicative behaviour evolves to take on a communicative function. We derive three basic principles about the emergence of combinatorial communication. We hence show that the interdependence of signals and responses places significant constraints on the historical pathways by which combinatorial signals might emerge, to the extent that anything other than the most simple form of combinatorial communication is extremely unlikely.



Estimating the tolerance of species to the effects of global environmental change

Por • 19 ago, 2013 • Category: Ambiente

Global environmental change is affecting species distribution and their interactions with other species. In particular, the main drivers of environmental change strongly affect the strength of interspecific interactions with considerable consequences to biodiversity. However, extrapolating the effects observed on pair-wise interactions to entire ecological networks is challenging. Here we propose a framework to estimate the tolerance to changes in the strength of mutualistic interaction that species in mutualistic networks can sustain before becoming extinct. We identify the scenarios where generalist species can be the least tolerant. We show that the least tolerant species across different scenarios do not appear to have uniquely common characteristics. Species tolerance is extremely sensitive to the direction of change in the strength of mutualistic interaction, as well as to the observed mutualistic trade-offs between the number of partners and the strength of the interactions.



Evolution in a Changing Environment

Por • 24 abr, 2013 • Category: Ambiente

We propose a simple model for genetic adaptation to a changing environment, describing a fitness landscape characterized by two maxima. One is associated with «specialist» individuals that are adapted to the environment; this maximum moves over time as the environment changes. The other maximum is static, and represents «generalist» individuals not affected by environmental changes. The rest of the landscape is occupied by «maladapted» individuals. Our analysis considers the evolution of these three subpopulations. Our main result is that, in presence of a sufficiently stable environmental feature, as in the case of an unchanging aspect of a physical habitat, specialists can dominate the population. By contrast, rapidly changing environmental features, such as language or cultural habits, are a moving target for the genes; here, generalists dominate, because the best evolutionary strategy is to adopt neutral alleles not specialized for any specific environment. The model we propose is based on simple assumptions about evolutionary dynamics and describes all possible scenarios in a non-trivial phase diagram. The approach provides a general framework to address such fundamental issues as the Baldwin effect, the biological basis for language, or the ecological consequences of a rapid climate change.



Evolutionary dynamics of group interactions on structured populations: A review

Por • 13 ene, 2013 • Category: sociologia

Interactions among living organisms, from bacteria colonies to human societies, are inherently more complex than interactions among particles and nonliving matter. Group interactions are a particularly important and widespread class, representative of which is the public goods game. In addition, methods of statistical physics have proven valuable for studying pattern formation, equilibrium selection, and self-organisation in evolutionary games. Here we review recent advances in the study of evolutionary dynamics of group interactions on structured populations, including lattices, complex networks and coevolutionary models. We also compare these results with those obtained on well-mixed populations. The review particularly highlights that the study of the dynamics of group interactions, like several other important equilibrium and non-equilibrium dynamical processes in biological, economical and social sciences, benefits from the synergy between statistical physics, network science and evolutionary game theory.