Dynamical patterns of coexisting strategies in a hybrid discrete-continuum spatial evolutionary game model

A. E. F Burgess, P. G. Schofield, S. F. Hubbard, Mark A. J. Chaplain, T. Lorenzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


We present a novel hybrid modelling framework that takes into account two aspects which have been largely neglected in previous models of spatial evolutionary games: random motion and chemotaxis. A stochastic individual-based model is used to describe the player dynamics,whereas the evolution of the chemoattractant is governed by a reaction-diffusion equation. The two models are coupled by deriving individual movement rules via the discretisation of a taxis-diffusion equation which describes the evolution of the local number of players. In this framework, individuals occupying the same position can engage in a two-player game, and are awarded a payoff, interms of reproductive fitness, according to their strategy. As an example, we let individuals play the Hawk-Dove game. Numerical simulations illustrate how random motion and chemotactic response can bring about self-generated dynamical patterns that create favourable conditions for the coexistence of hawks and doves in situations in which the two strategies cannot coexist otherwise.In this sense, our work offers a new perspective of research on spatial evolutionary games, and provides a general formalism to study the dynamics of spatially-structured populations in biological and social contexts where individual motion is likely to affect natural selection of behavioural traits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-64
Number of pages16
JournalMathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2016


  • Spatial evolutionary games
  • Hybrid models
  • Random motion
  • Chemotaxis
  • Hawk-Dove game
  • Spatial patterns


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