Hopf bifurcations and limit cycles in evolutionary network dynamics

Darren Pais, Carlos H. Caicedo-Nunez, and Naomi E. Leonard

SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems, 11(4), 1754-1884, 2012.
The replicator-mutator equations from evolutionary dynamics serve as a model for the evolution of language, behavioral dynamics in social networks, and decision-making dynamics in networked multi-agent systems. Analysis of the stable equilibria of these dynamics has been a focus in the literature, where symmetry in fitness functions is typically assumed. We explore asymmetry in fitness and show that the replicator-mutator equations exhibit Hopf bifurcations and limit cycles. We prove conditions for the existence of stable limit cycles arising from multiple distinct Hopf bifurcations of the dynamics in the case of circulant fitness matrices. In the noncirculant case we illustrate how stable limit cycles of the dynamics are coupled to embedded directed cycles in the payoff graph. These cycles correspond to oscillations of grammar dominance in language evolution and to oscillations in behavioral preferences in social networks; for decision-making systems, these limit cycles correspond to sustained oscillations in decisions across the group.

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