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Pages 194-201
First published 2 July 2012

The Effects of Finite Populations and Selection on the Emergence of Signaling

Kyle I. Harrington, A. Pinar Ozisik, Jordan B. Pollack


In the research described here we examine the emergence of signaling from non-communicative origins, using the Sir Philip Sidney Game as a framework for our analysis. This game is known to exhibit a number of interesting dynamics. In our study, we quantify the difficulty of reaching multiple types of equilibria from initially non-communicative populations with an infinite population model. We then compare the ability of finite populations with typical tournament selection to approximate the behaviors observed in infinite populations. Our findings suggest that honest signaling equilibria are difficult to reach from non-communicative origins. In the second part of the paper, we show that the finite model fails to model dynamics that permit deceptive signaling under typical evolutionary conditions, where infinite populations exhibit spiraling behavior between honest and deceptive signaling.