by Evan Shelhamer (eshelham)
Different modes of altruism is a rich area for exploration, both in research into the current literature and in simulation. The three that are most apparent are sharing (individual divides a resource it has with other), helping (individual helps other to gain a resource), and altruistic punishment, the most counter-intuitive. Altruistic punishment is the sacrifice of an individual’s energy to defeat others that do not contribute/cooperate/behave altruistically; an individual may sacrifice itself to kill off “selfish” individuals and prevent their reproduction.
The most important consideration in simulation is how to accurately/meaningfully model these modes of altruism, considering such things as costs of donation or punishment and the expression of multiple types (do sharer-helpers also punish, or do punisher-sharers not help, etc.)