Structured resource allocation for socially acceptable economic growth: Complex payment profiles

(Preview to a project in the M.Sc. program „Computer Science”, Kempten University, winter semester 2020/21)

Lecturer in charge at Kempten University: Prof. Dr. Jochen Staudacher


A key issue in economics deals with the public goods of our society: roads and public infrastructure, police, fire brigade and health care system. The question is always how to ensure that everyone is happy to contribute to the common good (i.e. pay their taxes or contributions) and not just benefit from it. Unfortunately, if you take the classic public goods game as a model for these systems, you will get a clear answer: it won’t work, there will always be a small percentage of cheats or free riders. But what about systems in which not everyone benefits equally from public goods and not everyone contributes equally to them? We want to investigate this form of asymmetric public goods games using genetic algorithms and evolutionary approaches, building on the results of student project teams from the 2019 summer semester. In particular, the focus is on the current work [9], which presents a first model for an unconditional basic income using evolutionary game theory and agent-based simulation, and the software APGG for “Asymmetric Public Goods Games”, which was written in C++ by Mr Falk Hübner, Mr Mirko Rosenthal and Mr David Richter in the summer semester 2019. Within the scope of the project we want to investigate asymmetric distribution of resources and extend the software APGG accordingly.

The project is carried out in cooperation with Dalarna University in Sweden and we will be able to draw on preliminary work and software from the working group of Prof. Dr. Arend Hintze as well as from previous international data processing projects. At the weekly project meetings we want to connect our project partners from Sweden via web conferencing. Therefore, our meetings will partly be held in English.

The project requires profound knowledge in C and C++. The resulting software will be published under GPL-3.


[1] Hardin G (1968) The tragedy of the commons. Science 162:1243–1248.

[2] Axelrod R (2009) Die Evolution der Kooperation, de Gruyter.

[3] Sigmund K (2010) The Calculus of Selfishness, Princeton University Press.

[4] Adami C, Schossau J, Hintze A (2016) Evolutionary Game Theory Using Agent-Based Methods, Physics of Life Reviews 19, 1-26.

[5] Hintze A, Adami C (2010) Darwinian evolution of cooperation via punishment in the Public Goods game. In: Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference of the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA), pp. 445–450.

[6] Hintze A, Adami C (2015) Punishment in public goods games leads to meta-stable phase transitions and hysteresis, Phys. Biol. 12 046005.

[7] Helbing D, Szolnoki A, Perc M, Szabo G (2010) Evolutionary establishment of moral and double moral standards through spatial interactions. PLoS Comput Biol., 6:e1000758.

[8] Casajus A, Tutic A (2007) Allmenderessourcen, Märkte und die Unsichtbare Hand, Preprint, Uni Leipzig, 12 Seiten.

[9] Hintze A, Staudacher J, Gelhar K, Pothmann A, Rasch J, Wildegger D (2020) Group-level selection avoids the tragedy of the commons, arXiv preprint, arXiv: 2004.11124, 15 pages.