Evolutionary game theory of continuous traits from a causal perspective
Lehtonen, J., & Otsuka, J. (2023). Evolutionary game theory of continuous traits from a causal perspective. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B : Biological Sciences, 378(1876), Article 20210507. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2021.0507
© 2023 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society
Modern evolutionary game theory typically deals with the evolution of continuous, quantitative traits under weak selection, allowing the incorporation of rich biological detail and complicated nonlinear interactions. While these models are commonly used to find candidates for evolutionary endpoints and to approximate evolutionary trajectories, a less appreciated property is their potential to expose and clarify the causal structure of evolutionary processes. The mathematical step of differentiation breaks a nonlinear model into additive components which are more intuitive to interpret, and when combined with a proper causal hypothesis, partial derivatives in such models have a causal meaning. Such an approach has been used in the causal analysis of game-theoretical models in an informal manner. Here we formalize this approach by linking evolutionary game theory to concepts developed in causal modelling over the past century, from path coefficients to the recently proposed causal derivative. There is a direct correspondence between the causal derivative and the derivative used in evolutionary game theory. Some game theoretical models (e.g. kin selection) consist of multiple causal derivatives. Components of these derivatives correspond to components of the causal derivative, to path coefficients, and to edges on a causal graph, formally linking evolutionary game theory to causal modelling. ...
PublisherThe Royal Society Publishing
ISSN Search the Publication Forum0962-8436
Publication in research information system
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Academy Research Fellow, AoF
Additional information about fundingJ.L. was funded by the Academy of Finland (grant no.340130), and in the initial stages of the project by an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award (project no. DE180100526) from the Australian Government. J.O. was funded by JSPS KAKENHI (grant no. 19K00270)
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