Cooperation and antagonism in information exchange in a growth scenario with two species

Andrés C. Burgos, Daniel Polani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
74 Downloads (Pure)


We consider a simple information-theoretic model of communication, in which two species of bacteria have the option of exchanging information about their environment, thereby improving their chances of survival. For this purpose, we model a system consisting of two species whose dynamics in the world are modelled by a bet-hedging strategy. It is well known that such models lend themselves to elegant information-theoretical interpretations by relating their respective long-term growth rate to the information the individual species has about its environment. We are specifically interested in modelling how this dynamics are affected when the species interact cooperatively or in an antagonistic way in a scenario with limited resources. For this purpose, we consider the exchange of environmental information between the two species in the framework of a game. Our results show that a transition from a cooperative to an antagonistic behaviour in a species results as a response to a change in the availability of resources. Species cooperate in abundance of resources, while they behave antagonistically in scarcity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-133
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Early online date9 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2016


  • Bet-hedging
  • Cell-to-cell communication
  • Information theory
  • Limited resources


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