We studied the evolution of cooperation in the framework of evolutionary game theory, implementing voluntary participation in the prisoner's dilemma. Although previous studies have tried to overcome the dilemma by introducing voluntary participation called a "loner," the question of which strategies among various strategies including voluntary participation are adaptive under competitive circumstances is still an unsolved puzzle. Here we have developed a model that consists of all possible strategies using a one-period memory of past actions. This model enables us to analyze a "melting pot" of strategies, wherein several strategies interact and compete with each other. Our results revealed that one strategy, in which one escapes if a partner defects or cooperates if a partner becomes a loner, dominates and maintains cooperation in an alternating prisoner's dilemma game. However, the so-called "win-stay, lose-shift" strategy dominates in a simultaneous prisoner's dilemma game. Our simulations clearly show that voluntary participation in the prisoner's dilemma game works in the alternating situation rather than the simultaneous one.
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