Paper: “Winning isn’t everything: Evolutionary stability of Zero Determinant strategies”
Zero Determinant (ZD) strategies are a new class of probabilistic and conditional strategies that are able to unilaterally set the expected payoff of an opponent in iterated plays of the Prisoner’s Dilemma irrespective of the opponent’s strategy, or else to set the ratio between a ZD player’s and their opponent’s expected payoff. Here we show that while ZD strategies are weakly dominant, they are not evolutionarily stable and will instead evolve into less coercive strategies. We suggest that ZD strategies with an informational advantage over other players that allows them to recognize other ZD strategies will be evolutionarily stable (and able to exploit other players). However, such an advantage is bound to be short-lived as opposing strategies evolve to counteract the recognition.