University of Cambridge > > Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series > Weakest-link control of invasive species: Impacts of memory, bounded rationality and network structure in repeated cooperative games

Weakest-link control of invasive species: Impacts of memory, bounded rationality and network structure in repeated cooperative games

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EBDW01 - Current status and key questions in Landscape Decision making

The nature of dispersal of many invasive pests and pathogens in agricultural and forestry makes it necessary to consider how the actions of one manager affect neighbouring properties. In addition to the direct effects of a potential spread of a pest and the resulting economic loss, there are also indirect consequences that affect whole regions and that require coordinated actions to manage and/or to eradicate it (like movement restrictions). In this talk we address the emergence and stability of cooperation among agents who respond to a threat of an invasive pest or disease. The model, based on the weakest-link paradigm, uses repeated multi-participant coordination games where players’ pay-offs depend on management decisions to prevent the invasion on their own land as well as of their neighbours on a network. We show that for the basic cooperation game agents select the risk-dominant strategy of a Stag hunt game over the pay-off dominant strategy of implementing control measures. However, cooperation can be achieved by the social planner offering a biosecurity payment. The critical level of this payment depends on the details of the decision-making process, with higher trust (based on reputation of other agents reflecting their past performance) allowing significant reduction in necessary payments and slowing down decay in cooperation when the payment is low. We also find that allowing for uncertainty in decision-making process can enhance cooperation for low levels of payments. Finally, we show the importance of industry structure to the emergence of cooperation, with increase in the average coordination number of network nodes leading to increase in the critical biosecurity payment.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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