Game Theory and Animal Behavior

ISBN 13: 9780195096927

Game Theory and Animal Behavior

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9780195096927: Game Theory and Animal Behavior
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Game theory has revolutionized the study of animal behavior. The fundamental principle of evolutionary game theory--that the strategy adopted by one individual depends on the strategies exhibited by others--has proven a powerful tool in uncovering the forces shaping otherwise mysterious behaviors. In this volume, the first since 1982 devoted to evolutionary game theory, leading researchers describe applications of the theory to diverse types of behavior, providing an overview of recent discoveries and a synthesis of current research. The volume begins with a clear introduction to game theory and its explanatory scope. This is followed by a series of chapters on the use of game theory to understand a range of behaviors: social foraging, cooperation, animal contests, communication, reproductive skew and nepotism within groups, sibling rivalry, alternative life-histories, habitat selection, trophic-level interactions, learning, and human social behavior. In addition, the volume includes a discussion of the relations among game theory, optimality, and quantitative genetics, and an assessment of the overall utility of game theory to the study of social behavior. Presented in a manner accessible to anyone interested in animal behavior but not necessarily trained in the mathematics of game theory, the book is intended for a wide audience of undergraduates, graduate students, and professional biologists pursuing the evolutionary analysis of animal behavior.

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About the Author:

Lee Alan Dugatkin, Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Louisville. Hudson Kern Reeve, Assistant Professor Biology, Cornell University.

Review:

"Describes many interesting examples of animal behaviour, including games between foraging producers and scroungers, reciprocal grooming in impala, territorial defence by birds and spiders, animal communication, parent-offspring conflict, and colony founding by ants. There are many accounts of
experimental tests of game theory models, along with clear discussions of the limitations of the game theory approach. The quality of writing (often a problem in edited volumes) is uniformly good. The chapter by R. Gomulkiewicz is especially important, because it connects game theory, other
optimization methods, and quantitative genetics with a focus on an empirical strategy for detecting adaptation and constraint." --Nature

"The book is a worthwhile addition to graduate collections and some undergraduate collections emphasizing behavioral ecology, as most chapters are sufficiently general to be of use for a longer time than the typical symposium volume."--Choice

"The liaison between game theory and evolutionary ecology has become a serious and intimate affair during the past few years. . . . Game Theory and Animal Behaviour is an edited volume loosely based on talks covering a diverse set of subjects that were presented by the authors at the 1995
symposium of the National Animal Behavior Society, USA. The scope of the book is accordingly wide: the topics range from pure theory aimed at a concise summary of the basics of game theory and a review of the links between the models of game theory, evolutionary optimality theory and quantitative
genetics, to game theory applied to hypothetical or actual animal conflicts in social foraging (among other topics), and a verbal consideration of the applicability of game theory to important aspects of human behaviour such as social norms. The common framework for the selection of papers is
classic evolutionary game theory . . ."--TREE

"The chapters of this outstanding, timely and wide-ranging survey repeatedly refute the criticism that there hasn't been enough empirical testing of game theory. The book is a natural for graduate seminars, but judging from the response I've seen, the students are already reading it. The
domain of "game theory" has grown wider, and while sticking close to bread-and-butter issues, these chapters stretch quite comfortably out to tritrophic level interactions and human cultural evolution. The dominant topic is the social playing field of cooperation and conflict. The great upheaval in
evolutionary theory during the last half-century has been the exploration of organismal interactions and such related problems as levels of selection and coevolution. Progress has been monumental and permanent, the social sciences have a new foundation, and my hat is off to those who achieved it,
including those represented in this fine book." - Scott Gleeson, New Biological Books, December 1999

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9780195137903: Game Theory and Animal Behavior

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ISBN 10:  0195137906 ISBN 13:  9780195137903
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2000
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