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PDF 1.39 MB
Pages 357–364
First published 20 July 2015

The Hunger Games: Embodied agents evolving foraging strategies on the frugal-greedy spectrum

Nathanaël Aubert-Kato, Olaf Witkowski, and Takashi Ikegami


In Evolutionary Biology and Game Theory, there is a long history of models aimed at predicting strategies adopted by agents during resource foraging. In Artificial Life, the agent-based modeling approach allowed to simulate the evolution of foraging behaviors in populations of artificial agents embodied in a simulated environment.

In this paper, different sets of behaviors are evolved from a simple setting where agents seek for food patches distributed on a two-dimensional map. While agents are not explicitly playing a game of chicken, their strategies are found on a spectrum ranging from a frugal strategy (aka Dove) to a greedy strategy (aka Hawk). This phenomenon is due to the fact that moving is both a way for the agents to play or go to get away from an unfavorable area of the environment. It is also observed that by moving away, the agents preserve the ecology, preventing the resource from disappearing locally.

Those strategies are shown to be stable if the environment is colonized by one given population. However, post-mortem tournaments among different groups of agents (separately evolved), systematically result in a specific group of agents dominating. The optimal strategy in the simulated tournaments is found to be one with fine-tuned timing for leaving. Further analysis shows how the strategy exploits resources without completely depleting them, producing Volterra-like population tendencies.