The evolution of cooperation under cheap pseudonyms

Michal Feldman, John Chuang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

A wide variety of interactions on the Internet are characterized by the availability of cheap pseudonyms, where users can obtain new identities freely or at a low cost. Due to the availability of cheap pseudonyms, incentive schemes that are based on reward and punishment are vulnerable to the whitewashing attack, where users continuously discard their old identity and acquire a new one to escape the consequences of their had behavior. In this paper, we study the implications of the whitewashing attack from an evolutionary perspective. Not surprisingly, the whitewashing attack degrades the evolutionary stability of strategies that are otherwise stable. In particular, the Tit-for-Tat strategy and its variant, probabilistic TFT, are not stable against white-washers, unless identity costs are sufficiently large. In addition, we extend the indirect reciprocity model and find that discriminators can defeat whitewashers only if the probability to cooperate with strangers is small enough, which in turn degrades social welfare.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - Seventh IEEE International Conference on E-Commerce Technology, CEC 2005
Pages284-292
Number of pages9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event7th IEEE International Conference on E-Commerce Technology, CEC 2005 - Munich, Germany
Duration: 19 Jul 200522 Jul 2005

Publication series

NameProceedings - Seventh IEEE International Conference on E-Commerce Technology, CEC 2005
Volume2005

Conference

Conference7th IEEE International Conference on E-Commerce Technology, CEC 2005
Country/TerritoryGermany
CityMunich
Period19/07/0522/07/05

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