Evolution of biological cooperation: an algorithmic approach

Sudakow, Ivan; Reinitz, John; Vakulenko, Sergey A. and Grigoriev, Dima (2024). Evolution of biological cooperation: an algorithmic approach. Scientific Reports, 14, article no. 1468.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-024-52028-0


This manuscript presents an algorithmic approach to cooperation in biological systems, drawing on fundamental ideas from statistical mechanics and probability theory. Fisher’s geometric model of adaptation suggests that the evolution of organisms well adapted to multiple constraints comes at a significant complexity cost. By utilizing combinatorial models of fitness, we demonstrate that the probability of adapting to all constraints decreases exponentially with the number of constraints, thereby generalizing Fisher’s result. Our main focus is understanding how cooperation can overcome this adaptivity barrier. Through these combinatorial models, we demonstrate that when an organism needs to adapt to a multitude of environmental variables, division of labor emerges as the only viable evolutionary strategy.

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