Hawks, doves, and mixed-symmetry games

Philip H. Crowley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The hawk-dove game has proved to be an important tool for understanding the role of aggression in social interactions. Here, the game is presented in a more general form (GHD) to facilitate analyses of interactions between individuals that may differ in 'size', where size is interpreted as a surrogate for resource holding power. Three different situations are considered, based on the availability and use of information that interacting individuals have about their sizes: the classical symmetric case, in which no information about sizes is used, the asymmetric case, in which the individuals know their relative sizes and thus their chances of prevailing in combat, and a mixed-symmetry case, in which each individual only knows its own size (or only knows its opponent's size). I describe and use some recently developed methods for multitype games - evolutionary games involving two or more categories of players. With these methods and others, the evolutionarily stable strategies (ESSs) that emerge for the three different cases are identified and compared. A proof of the form and uniqueness of the ESS for the mixed-symmetry case is presented. In this situation, one size category at most can play a mixed strategy; larger individuals are aggressive and smaller individuals are not. As the number of size categories approaches infinity and the size distribution becomes continuous, there is a threshold size, above which all individuals are aggressive, and below which they are not. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-563
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 21 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Hawks, doves, and mixed-symmetry games'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this