Cooperation is a fundamental aspect of well-organized societies and public good games are a useful metaphor for modeling cooperative behavior in the presence of strong incentives to free ride. Usually, social agents interact to play a public good game through network structures. Here, we use social network structures and computational agent rules inspired by recent experimental work in order to develop models of agent behavior playing public goods games. The results of our numerical simulations based on a couple of simple models show that agents behave in a manner qualitatively similar to what has been observed experimentally. Computational models such as those presented here are very useful to interpret observed behavior and to enhance computationally the limited variation that is possible in the experimental domain. By assuming a priori reasonable individual behaviors, the easiness of running simulations could also facilitate exploration prior to any experimental work in order to vary and estimate a number of key parameters that would be very difficult, if not impossible, to change during the actual experiment.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited