Pursuit and an evolutionary game

Ermin Wei, Eric W Justh, P.S Krishnaprasad

Abstract

Pursuit is a familiar mechanical activity that humans and animals engage in—athletes chasing balls, predators seeking prey and insects manoeuvring in aerial territorial battles. In this paper, we discuss and compare strategies for pursuit, the occurrence in nature of a strategy known as motion camouflage, and some evolutionary arguments to support claims of prevalence of this strategy, as opposed to alternatives. We discuss feedback laws for a pursuer to realize motion camouflage, as well as two alternative strategies. We then set up a discrete-time evolutionary game to model competition among these strategies. This leads to a dynamics in the probability simplex in three dimensions, which captures the mean-field aspects of the evolutionary game. The analysis of this dynamics as an ascent equation solving a linear programming problem is consistent with observed behaviour in Monte Carlo experiments, and lends support to an evolutionary basis for prevalence of motion camouflage.

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Footnotes

    • Received November 21, 2008.
    • Accepted January 21, 2009.
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