A systematic analysis of the N-person chicken game

Miklos N. Szilagyi, Iren Somogyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We report computer simulation experiments based on our agent-based simulation tool to model the multiper-son Chicken dilemma game for the case when the agents are greedy simpletons who imitate the action of that of their neighbors who received the highest payoff for its previous action. The individual agents may cooper-ate with each other for the collective interest or may defect, i.e., pursue their selfish interests only. After a cer-tain number of iterations the proportion of cooperators stabilizes to either a constant value or oscillates around such a value. The payoff (reward/penalty) functions are given as two straight lines: one for the coop-erators and another for the defectors. The payoff curves are functions of the ratio of cooperators to the total number of agents. Even for linear payoff functions, we have four free parameters that determine the payoff functions that have the following properties: (1) Both payoff functions increase with the increasing number of cooperators. (2) In the region of low cooperation the cooperators have a higher reward than the defectors. (3) When the cooperation rate is high, there is a higher payoff for defecting behavior than for cooperating behav-ior. (4) As a consequence, the slope of the D function is greater than that of the C function and the two payoff functions intersect. (5) All agents receive a lower payoff if all defect than if all cooperate. We have investigated the behavior of the agents systematically. The results show that the solutions have predictable tendencies but they are nontrivial and quite irregular. The solutions show drastic changes in the parameter ranges 0.6 ≤ R ≤ 0.65 for all values of S and 0 ≤ S ≤ 0.2 when R < 0.6 (R is the reward for mutual cooperation and S is the sucker's payoff to a lonely cooperator).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-62
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010


  • Agent-based simulation
  • Chicken game
  • Cooperation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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