Evolutionarily stable strategy  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

In game theory and behavioural ecology, an evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) is a strategy which, if adopted by a population of players, cannot be invaded by any alternative strategy that is initially rare. An ESS is an equilibrium refinement of the Nash equilibrium – it is a Nash equilibrium which is "evolutionarily" stable meaning that once it is fixed in a population, natural selection alone is sufficient to prevent alternative (mutant) strategies from successfully invading.

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