Natural games

Physics Letters A (Impact Factor: 1.68). 03/2011; 375(43). DOI: 10.1016/j.physleta.2011.08.056
Source: arXiv


Behavior in the context of game theory is described as a natural process that
follows the 2nd law of thermodynamics. The rate of entropy increase as the
payoff function is derived from statistical physics of open systems. The
thermodynamic formalism relates everything in terms of energy and describes
various ways to consume free energy. This allows us to associate game
theoretical models of behavior to physical reality. Ultimately behavior is
viewed as a physical process where flows of energy naturally select ways to
consume free energy as soon as possible. This natural process is, according to
the profound thermodynamic principle, equivalent to entropy increase in the
least time. However, the physical portrayal of behavior does not imply
determinism. On the contrary, evolutionary equation for open systems reveals
that when there are three or more degrees of freedom for behavior, the course
of a game is inherently unpredictable in detail because each move affects
motives of moves in the future. Eventually, when no moves are found to consume
more free energy, the extensive-form game has arrived at a solution concept
that satisfies the minimax theorem. The equilibrium is Lyapunov-stable against
variation in behavior within strategies but will be perturbed by a new strategy
that will draw even more surrounding resources to the game. Entropy as the
payoff function also clarifies motives of collaboration and subjective nature
of decision making.

Download full-text


Available from: Arto Annila
  • Source
    • "Moreover, according to thermodynamics the spread of a distribution, e.g., when given in terms of kinetic energy, increases with increasing average energy of the system. The same trend of increasing diversity with increasing overall energetic status of a system can also be recognized in modes of behavior (Anttila and Annila, 2011) as well as in economic (Annila and Salthe, 2009) and cultural patterns (Annila and Salthe, 2010b). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sexual and asexual modes of proliferation are associated with advantages and disadvantages, yet a profound percept that would account for both ways of reproduction is missing. On the basis of the 2nd law of thermodynamics we find that both sexual and asexual reproduction can be regarded as a means to consume free energy in least time. Parthenogenesis is a fast way to consume a rich repository of free energy, e.g., an ample stock of food with a large number of individuals, whereas sexual reproduction is a fast way to consume diverse and dispersed resources with a large variety of individuals. Most organisms have adapted to their surroundings accordingly and some organisms switch from one mode of reproduction to the other depending on the amount and dispersion of free-energy sources. We conclude that the least-time free energy consumption in respective surroundings, as the general criterion of natural selection, determines also sexual and asexual modes of reproduction.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Bio Systems
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Natural networks are considered as thermodynamic systems that evolve from one state to another by consuming free energy. The least-time consumption of free energy is found to result in ubiquitous scale-free characteristics. The network evolution will yield the scale-independent qualities because the least-time imperative will prefer attachment of nodes that contribute most to the free-energy consumption. The analysis of evolutionary equation of motion, derived from statistical physics of open systems, reveals that evolution of natural networks is a path-dependent and nondeterministic process. Despite the noncomputability of evolution, many mathematical models of networks can be recognized as approximations of the least-time process as well as many measures of networks can be appreciated as practical assessments of the system's thermodynamic status. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Complexity, 2012 © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Complexity
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Genomic sequences across diverse species seem to align towards a common ancestry, eventually implying that eons ago some universal antecedent organism would have lived on the face of Earth. However, when evolution is understood not only as a biological process but as a general thermodynamic process, it becomes apparent that the quest for the last universal common ancestor is unattainable. Ambiguities in alignments are unavoidable because the driving forces and paths of evolution cannot be separated from each other. Thus tracking down life's origin is by its nature a non-computable task. The thermodynamic tenet clarifies that evolution is a path-dependent process of least-time consumption of free energy. The natural process is without a demarcation line between animate and inanimate.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · Genes
Show more